Yankees vs Giants Picks, Odds, Predictions | MLB Betting Preview for Saturday, April 1
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge.
- Despite having all the edges on paper, the Yankees are only a modest favorite over the Giants in Saturday MLB action.
- Clarke Schmidt takes the mound for New York with a golden opportunity to prove he belongs in the 2023 rotation.
- Below, Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his case for fading San Francisco and betting on the Yankees.
Giants vs. Yankees Odds
-105 / -115
-105 / -115
Clarke Schmidt came into spring hoping to somehow secure a spot in the Yankees’ starting rotation, and he’s suddenly being awarded a massive chance to show he belongs while starting Game 2 of the season with the New York rotation dinged up.
Schmidt will get a reasonable matchup Saturday against a middling Giants offense with winds likely blowing slightly in toward home plate.
San Francisco will start veteran Alex Cobb, who should remain a very reliable option this season. He’s also being given some respect in the betting markets with the Giants priced as +124 underdogs in this matchup.
Alex Cobb’s 2022 ERA of 3.73 was an underachievement and largely the byproduct of a historically bad Giants defense. His 3.15 xERA showed he deserved better.
It’s plausible the flaws that caused his inflated ERA will continue in 2023, however.
Cobb pitched to an extreme ground ball % of 61.5 in 2022, which could be a concern as the shift ban comes into effect. He’s also playing in front of what should be a poor defensive lineup.
San Francisco pushed hard to secure some big-name free agents this offseason but ultimately was forced to settle for Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger.
FanGraphs projects San Francisco to be a lower middle-of-the-pack offense averaging 4.27 runs, which seems reasonable considering the lack of upside in the lineup.
With Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino and Frankie Montas all ending up on the IL, Aaron Boone will turn to 2017 first-round pick Clarke Schmidt to start Saturday’s matchup.
Schmidt pitched to a 3.12 ERA and 3.57 xERA in 57 and 2/3 innings last season, and he made a strong case to be the No. 5 starter with an impressive spring.
Schmidt developed a new cutter to add to his arsenal, and it was a strength that helped him strike out 25 batters in 19 and 2/3 Grapefruit League innings.
Left-handed batters slugged .643 versus Schmidt’s four-seam fastball last season, and his newfound cutter could offer a wrinkle to help potentially clean up that concern.
Schmidt will be backed by a Yankees bullpen that projects to be among the best in baseball, and he will be fully rested after an offday following Gerrit Cole’s excellent outing in Game 1.
New York was the fourth-most-potent offense in baseball versus right-handed pitching in 2022. It projects to similarly strong results this season and could see more run support from further down the lineup in 2023.
Giants vs. Yankees Betting Pick
There are some strong arguments as to why Schmidt can pitch quality innings Saturday and get started on a promising season for himself.
At that point, a rested and elite Yankee bullpen will take over, which is another area of strength that offers New York an edge in this contest.
The Yankees lineup is likely to produce drastically better offensive results than the Giants, and the disparity between these two lineups puts Cobb at a heavy disadvantage.
Cobb is also backed by a concerning defense that will typically be tasked with fielding a lot of ground balls, which was a concern last year that could be exacerbated in 2023.
Considering all of the other edges New York is holding in this matchup, it seems pretty disrespectful to Schmidt that New York is just a -135 favorite, and I believe we’d see this number a little wider further into the 2023 campaign.
Pick: New York Yankees Moneyline (-135 at DraftKings)
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