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MLB Playoff Picks, Odds for ALDS Game 2 Guardians vs Yankees

MLB Playoff Picks, Odds for ALDS Game 2 Guardians vs Yankees article feature image
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Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees.

  • The Yankees are favored in Game 2 of their ALDS matchup with the Guardians.
  • New York has Nestor Cortes on the mound, while Cleveland sends out its ace, Shane Bieber.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Guardians vs. Yankees Game 2 Odds

Guardians Odds +120
Yankees Odds -142
Over/Under 6.5 (-104/-118)
Time 1:07 p.m. ET
TV TBS
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Guardians are looking to avoid a two-game hole and return home with a split against the high-powered Yankees in the ALDS.

Cleveland would gladly take a split through two games and will surely have a reasonable opportunity to manage a win on Friday as Shane Bieber will be ready for his second start of the postseason.

Bieber will be opposed by Nestor Cortes Jr., who has been tremendous in his own right this season.

Bieber was spectacular in the Wild Card round against the Rays, but will he be as dominant against a much tougher Yankees’ lineup?

Cleveland Guardians: Will the Offense Show Up?

Cleveland’s offense has been next to nonexistent during the postseason and although that didn’t matter much against Tampa Bay, it was a big concern Tuesday in a 4-1 loss.

The Guardians have generated just four runs through 33 innings this postseason and have a total of 19 hits.

Cleveland has faced elite pitching from both the Rays and Yankees in tough hitting conditions, but those numbers are still quite concerning and are not entirely surprising.

The Guardians splits versus left-handed pitching were quite concerning as the club hit to a wRC+ of just 84, the fourth-worst mark in the league.

You could argue Cleveland’s batting splits are even less impressive when considering they played in the AL Central. When looking at team ERA, the Royals finished 27th, the Tigers 21st, the Twins 19th and the White Sox 16th.

With that in mind, Bieber will likely need to be stellar against Cortes.

Bieber dominated Tampa Bay in his first playoff appearance, allowing just three hits and striking out eight over 7 1/3 innings.

However, Bieber did allow six hard-hit balls in that game, including three with exit velocities of greater than 103 mph. Of course, giving up hard hits is not as surprising as you would expect as Bieber’s season long hard-hit rate was 43.1%.

Bieber has pitched to an xERA of 3.51, which suggests he is slightly more gettable than his dominance in other areas would seem to imply.

Through 79 plate appearances against members of the Yankees’ lineup, Bieber has pitched to an xSLG of .507, which may not hold a ton of predictive relevancy, but is notably high.

New York Yankees: Is Cortes Ready for Postseason Stage?

Nestor Cortes Jr. will make the biggest start of his young career on Friday in front of a Yankees’ crowd that has become very fond of the young lefty.

Cortes has pitched to considerably better splits at home this season, where he owns a 1.95 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. On the road, he has a 3.06 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Normally I don’t like to put much weight into home-and-away splits, but that is a pretty drastic difference over a sample of an entire season and it’s fair to say Cortes feels good in front of the Yankees faithful.

Cortes also holds a very strong analytical profile and has an elite xERA of just 2.70.

Cortes’ ability to pitch to the edges of the zone makes him a must watch in a day and age where overwhelming velocity seems to be the norm for so many high-end starters.

Cortes has pitched to an xSLG of .315 in 36 career plate appearances against the Guardians. All of those at-bats came this season and Cortes surrendered just three earned runs on four hits over 12 1/3 innings against Cleveland.

The Yankees have thrived against right-handed pitching all season long and were the fourth-best team wRC+ at 113. We saw New York’s high-powered offense pass it’s first test of the postseason on Tuesday as the Yankees broke out for four earned runs off of Cal Quantrill, who had been in a ridiculous stretch of play, lucky or not.

Guardians-Yankees Pick

I remain unsold on just how strong this Guardians club actually is, specifically when we consider how the offense stacks up to teams like the Yankees. Even with Shane Bieber on the mound, the offensive gulf between these two teams could be tough to close.

That’s especially true because Nestor Cortes Jr. has been very sharp in his own right this season and should dominate the Guardians’ offense in this spot.

At -135 I am willing to put a play on the Yankees to take a 2-0 stranglehold in this series and I’d would play that down to -145.

Pick: New York Yankees -135 (Play to -145)

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