ALDS Game 4 | Yankees vs Guardians Picks, Projections
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Oscar Gonzalez
- The Yankees are favored in Game 4 of the ALDS on Sunday night against the Guardians.
- New York has ace Gerrit Cole on the mound hoping to keep its season alive, while Cleveland looks to punch its ticket to the ALCS behind Cal Quantrill.
- Our expert has projections and picks from tonight's pivotal MLB postseason matchup, which you can read below.
Throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on both futures and individual games for that day.
Below, I will address how to handle betting on these playoff series, whether on the series moneyline or a game-by-game basis, while using my daily MLB Model projections.
You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.
Using my projections, where can we find actionable value on Sunday?
Series Moneyline Corner
First, let's take a look at my updated projected series prices for the Divisional Round before Sunday's games:
Cleveland improved its series odds by nearly 25% with their come-from-behind walk-off win in Game 3. And I would have projected them around 17%, down 3-2 in this series, meaning the walk-off hit by Oscar Gonzalez was worth roughly a 48% swing to their series chances.
You can find the Yankees at +185 at BetMGM — which is essentially a break-even price compared to my projection. Typically, I would set my price target around +201 (33.2% implied) — at a two percent gap from my price. Alternatively, you could look to roll over a Yankees moneyline bet on Game 4 into a bet on Game 5.
I would bet the Phillies to +107 or the Padres down to +110 in a series projected to have multiple coin flip games.
The price opened around a pick'em in most markets, with a slight lean to San Diego. DraftKings hung Padres (-130) / Phillies (+110) – nearly a five percent gap for the Phillies relative to average market prices, so I bet a unit at that number.
Depending upon the book, you might find those odds under either series odds or the NL Pennant markets. Make sure to check both.
New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Guardians, 7:07 p.m. ET
Gerrit Cole vs. Cal Quantrill (full projections here)
We cashed a Yankees F5 ticket at -200 (with a price target of -207) with the same pitching matchup in Game 1, and I'll gladly fire into the F5 market again with Gerrit Cole (3.31 xERA, 2.78 xFIP, 2.77 SIERA) facing Cal Quantrill (4.31 xERA, 4.39 xFIP, 4.50 SIERA) in a must-win game for the Yankees.
To reiterate a few points:
Cleveland scores runs with singles and base advancements, which is a complex strategy to employ against the Yankees' top-rated defense.
Cole allowed a career-high 33 home runs this season, but Cleveland is not the team to take advantage of the long ball, ranking 29th with 127 home runs (0.78 per game) this season; and 29th in HR/FB rate (7.9%). The Yankees' offense ranked first in both categories.
And teams who have out-homered the opposition have won about 83% of all postseason games, dating back to 2016.
The Yankees have the superior offense, but the handedness splits favor the Guardians, who rate just above average against righties, and closer to a bottom-five offense against lefties. And they carry the lowest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching.
Still, Cole pitched well in Game 1 (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K) while generating 19 whiffs and going with a breaking-ball heavy-approach (50% combined curveball and slider usage; career average 33.5%).
Gerrit Cole, Fastball/Slider & Fastball/Knuckle Curve, Overlays. pic.twitter.com/DO9dgLxy7I
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 16, 2022
The Guardians rated as the No. 1 offense against changeups this season – so Cole put away his off-speed pitch in favor of his curveball in Game 1 (+15.2% above season average). Cleveland ranked 13th against sliders, 21st against curveballs, and 27th against fastballs, and Cole had success with all three pitch types.
Quantrill (5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K) leaned on his two best pitch types, a sinker, and cutter, in Game 1 (91% usage vs.69% combined for the season) and generated 14 whiffs, well above his baseline.
Cal Quantrill, Dirty 90mph Cutter…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/jI7ZSK718F
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 12, 2022
Yankees hitters struggled against cutters all season (22nd on a per-pitch basis), and although they ranked in the top five against all fastballs, they prefer four-seamers over sinkers.
Josh Donaldson has feasted on both pitch types throughout his career, went 1-1 with a walk against Quantrill in Game 1, and owns solid numbers against Quantrill in a small sample (8 for 18, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 K). I'll take a closer look at his player props.
Considering my Yankees' F5 price target in Game 1 (-207) and accounting for a five percent adjustment for home field, I'd want a number around -166 or better for the same matchup on the road.
And that's almost exactly where I have the projection for Game 4, setting the Yankees as -178 F5 favorites (64.1% implied), and I would bet Cole's F5 line up to -166 (62.1% implied) at a two percent edge.
I have concerns regarding their full game moneyline, however. Four of the Yankees' key relievers — Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta, Clarke Schmidt, and Lou Trivino — worked back-to-back days on Friday and Saturday. At the same time, the Guardians were able to rest Trevor Stephan, James Karcinhak, and Emmanuel Clase.
That gives the Guardians a significant advantage in the late innings of Game 4, and I would look to jump in live on the Cleveland side once their bullpen relieves Quantrill and tries to lock down the game.
Alternatively, you can bet Cleveland's moneyline pregame at +150 (39.9% implied), or better, at a two percent edge compared to my number (+138, 41.9%).
Concerning the total, I would bet the Under 6.5 to -105 (projected 6.12); though, as I said – the Yankees bullpen has blowup potential in the late innings.
Bets for October 16
- NL Pennant: Philadelphia Phillies (+110, 1u at DraftKings), bet to +107
- Yankees F5 (-165, 0.5 at BetMGM), bet to -165
- Yankees/Guardians, Under 6.5 (+105 0.5u at Caesars), bet to -105