The Yankees and Guardians will fight to stay alive on Monday night, as the ALDS comes back to Yankee Stadium for a decisive Game 5. Aaron Civale and Jameson Taillon are set to take the mound in what figures to be a heavy day of bullpen usage. Who advances to the ALCS?
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Monday’s game in the Bronx.
Cleveland Guardians vs. New York Yankees Betting Odds
The Yankees are home favorites at -156 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 7.5 runs.
Game 3 might’ve been the best example of why the Yankees remain favored – despite being out-hit 15-5, home runs kept them in the lead until a 9th inning meltdown. A power-heavy offense has kept the odds in New York’s favor for much of the series, and home-field advantage certainly helps in Game 5.
Interestingly, though, a battle of the bullpens may better favor Cleveland. Can the Guardians reach their first ALCS since 2016?
Cleveland Guardians vs. New York Yankees Picks & Prediction
My pick: Yankees Moneyline (-156)
The Guardians’ lineup continues to be a source of uncertainty. Cleveland needed 15 hits to pull out a comeback win in Game 3, and they predictably couldn’t repeat that kind of performance in Game 4. Now back on the road with the unstable Civale on the mound, the Guardians have to avoid falling into an early hole that their offense just isn’t good enough to climb out of.
You’d have to think this game would begin to favor the Guardians if it stayed close into the later innings. Emmanuel Clase is among Cleveland relievers who are rested and ready to go. The Guardians have the better bullpen and can win if they take advantage of the Yankees’ relievers.
If New York makes life difficult for Civale in what promises to be a harsh environment, the Yankees should be able to pull this out. Home runs remain the key for the Yankees, and they have at least one in each game this series.
LF S. Kwan L
SS A. Rosario R
3B J. Ramirez S
1B J. Naylor L
DH O. Gonzalez R
2B A. Gimenez L
RF W. Brennan L
C A. Hedges R
CF M. Straw R
Cleveland Guardians vs. Jameson Taillon
Jameson Taillon’s first postseason appearance didn’t end well in Game 2, when he entered as a reliever and gave up two runs without recording an out. The veteran should be more comfortable as a starter, but there’s still serious pressure on the right-hander.
Taillon had an up-and-down season, posting a 3.91 ERA across 32 starts (177.1 IP) with a 3.94 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, and 151 strikeouts. He largely struggled down the stretch, pitching to a 4.44 ERA from July onward. Taillon has allowed 50 home runs over the last two seasons, which is a concern against any team but not as problematic against a Guardians lineup that doesn’t hit for much power.
The Guardians’ high-contact, low-strikeout will face much of the Yankees’ bullpen regardless of how they fare against Taillon. While Clay Holmes’ availability is uncertain, Cleveland will almost certainly see Jonathan Loaisiga and even Wandy Peralta after his brief outing in Game 4. The lack of a lockdown reliever could open the door for the Guardians to string together hits, just as they did at the end of Game 3, but they’ll likely need the top of the lineup to do it. After the No. 6 spot, production has been hard to come by for Terry Francona’s lineup.
2B DJ LeMahieu R
RF A. Judge R
1B A. Rizzo L
3B J. Donaldson R
DH G. Stanton R
LF O. Cabrera S
CF H. Bader R
SS I. Kiner-Falefa R
C J. Trevino R
New York Yankees vs. Aaron Civale
The Yankees’ offense hasn’t been overly impressive in this series, but they have hit enough home runs to reach a Game 5. They were able to take advantage of both Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill, to a degree, and they should be able to do the same against Aaron Civale.
Civale, who hasn’t pitched in this postseason after struggling in the regular season, posted a 4.92 ERA across 20 starts (97 IP) with a 3.87 FIP and 1.19 WHIP. He’s maintained great control throughout his career but had trouble with contact this season and allowed 1.3 home runs per nine innings.
It’s unlikely the Yankees will see more than 3-4 innings of Civale. The bullpen is fully available for Francona to use, and he will try to use it to his advantage. That could mean multiple innings for Clase, an elite closer. Trevor Stephan and James Karinchak are also set to be among relievers used.
New York’s all-or-nothing lineup has had such a tough time with this bullpen that it’s critical they take advantage of Civale. Based on the way Civale has pitched all year, it’s doable. It’s also possible some more familiarity with the Guardians’ relievers helps the Yankees.