Despite being from northern Ohio, LeBron James has always been a diehard Yankees fan. But now James’ Yankees are preparing for Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Indians, and they couldn’t help but show off one of their biggest fans on Twitter. It’s no coincidence that the Yankees chose that particular photo of James wearing a Yankees hat. The picture is from 2007, when James rooted for the Yankees in a playoff game against the Indians. It caused an uproar 10 years ago, even though the Indians won that series. As the Indians made their run to the World Series last fall, James expressed support for his actual home team by attending several games in Indians gear. It remains to be seen if James’ Yankees pride will show up during the ALDS games at Progressive Field.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter Eduardo Nunez was forced to leave Thursday’s playoff game against the Houston Astros in the first inning after suffering an apparent knee injury. Nunez was hurt while running to first base. The veteran infielder couldn’t put any weight on his leg and had to get carried off the field at Minute Maid Park in Houston. He’d previously been sidelined by a knee injury for most of September. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the two ailments are directly related. Boston manager John Farrell said the lingering effects of the previous issue would likely limit where Nunez could play: “Getting his bat back in the lineup will be a plus but initially it would be at those two positions: second and third. At this point, we kind of feel like that’s the best defensive capability and range right now.”
The Red Sox acquired the 30-year-old Dominican Republic native from the San Francisco Giants in July in exchange for pitching prospects Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos. Nunez, a 2016 All-Star Game selection, provided a boost to the offense during the stretch run of the regular season. He posted a .321/.353/.539 triple-slash line with eight home runs and six stolen bases in 38 games following the trade. His value is enhanced by the ability to play multiple positions. He appeared at second base, shortstop and third base with Boston and also has experience at the corner outfield spots. It’s unknown how long Nunez could be out after leaving Thursday’s game. Hanley Ramirez will likely serve as the team’s full-time DH in his absence.
The Chicago Cubs are looking to become the first team to repeat as World Series champion in almost two decades, but the odds aren’t in their favor, according to several publications and websites. According to the folks at Bovada, the Cubs have the fifth-best odds of winning the championship this season, currently checking in at 8-to-1 odds of winning the title. The Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers are listed as the favorites at 10-to-3 odds, according to the website. The Cubs went 92-70 this season, the worst record of any division-winning team and the second-worst record in the National League, finishing ahead of only the Colorado Rockies. According to Fangraphs, the Cubs have a 10.9 percent chance of winning the World Series, the lowest percentage of any division-winning team. The Indians have the highest chance, currently checking in at 19.5 percent going into the American League Division Series. Last year the Cubs were considered the betting favorites to win the title after finishing with the best record in baseball, and that’s exactly what they did as they won their first championship since 1908.