MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Guardians vs. Yankees Betting Preview (April 23)
G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Nestor Cortes
- Nestor Cortes has been a revelation for the Yankees, but can he come through today against a surging Cleveland offense?
- Cal Quantrill takes the bump for the Guardians, and he should be effective against the Bronx Bombers, at least early.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Guardians vs. Yankees Odds
|Time||1:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees meet for Game 2 of their weekend series on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees enter fresh off a 4-1 win the night before on the back of Aaron Judge’s two home runs.
The Yankees turn to ‘Nasty’ Nestor Cortes, who has been dominant in the early going of 2022, while Cleveland hands the ball to Cal Quantrill fresh off the COVID-19 list.
Can the Guardians keep up their hot-hitting behind Quantrill en route to a bounce-back win against the Yankees offense, or will Cortes will them to victory on the back of another brilliant outing?
Guardians’ Offense Clicking Early
Quantrill was a late activation off the COVID-19 list and will start Saturday afternoon’s matchup against the Yankees.
Quantrill doesn’t pitch deep into games — his outings usually last five innings before turning over to the bullpen — but he’s been relatively effective in those starts.
The right-hander should see some positive regression when it comes to leaving runners stranded. Despite limiting hard-contact, Quantrill has left just 64 percent of runners on base — a 16 percent decrease from a season ago.
Primarily a cutter-sinker combo pitcher, Quantrill has limited hard contact despite not being an overpowering pitcher. Opponents have just a .250 xBA against the 27-year-old.
A surprise to many, the Guardians’ offense has been clicking on all cylinders in the opening weeks to the season. Jose Ramirez has picked up right where he left off, and both rookie Steven Kwan (216 wRC+, .511 OBP) and offseason acquisition Myles Straw (162 wRC+) have dominated atop the lineup.
The offense has carried the Guardians to a first-place position atop the AL Central, and that’s with Franmil Reyes and Amed Rosario struggling. Cleveland swept the Chicago White Sox this past week, outscoring their division rival 19-5.
It is important to note that Cleveland has had much more success against right-handed pitching than southpaws.
Despite their bludgeoning of Dallas Keuchel on Wednesday (1 IP, 10H, 7ER), the Guardians still hit just .254 and slug .349 against lefties, as opposed to a .292 average and .481 slugging against righties.
Cortes Impressive For Yankees
Cortes has picked up right where he left off since becoming a full-time starter with the Yankees last season. He has thrown 9 1/3 scoreless innings over his first two starts, with 17 strikeouts and just six hits.
Cortes’ advanced metrics are equally impressive in the early going. His xERA sits at 1.23 and opponents have an xBA of .176. Even more impressive is the xSLG against the southpaw, which sits at .235.
Just like last season, opponents are struggling to make hard contact and Cortes’ fastball-cutter combo has been near-unhittable in 2022.
Pitching has not been the glaring issue for the Bronx Bombers, rather it’s their offense. They rank 25th in runs per game, 18th in wRC+ and 20th in OPS.
Joey Gallo has struggled to find any success at the plate (29 wRC+) and players like Giancarlo Stanton (67 wRC+) and Josh Donaldson (78 wRC+) have lagged behind. For reference, 100 is considered average.
The good news is that the Yankees return home after a six-game road trip, where their offense has been better in the early going. Judge was able to find his groove in the series opener, but Gallo, Donaldson and Stanton, among others, continued to lag behind.
At first, it seemed like the Yankees had a favorable matchup with Quantrill seemingly on the COVID-19 list. But the activation should boost the Guardians on Saturday afternoon.
Quantrill is a way better pitcher than Kirk McCarty — who would’ve started in place of him — and the Yankees’ offense has struggled to find any success behind the plate. The same should ring true yet again against a more seasoned pitcher.
Tack on the fact that Cortes has been near-unhittable in the early going and the Guardians have their fair share of struggles against southpaws, and I think this is the perfect spot to back the first five under.
While I think the Yankees have the advantage — and the price reflects it — I won’t be taking a side in this matchup.
I think both pitchers should be able to limit the opposing offenses and turn in solid outings en route to a low-scoring first half. I’d rather not trust the bullpens here, as both will likely take over around the sixth inning and have a heavier workload than normal.
Pick: F5 Under 4.5 (to -120)