The Giants were shut down in an Opening Day loss to the Yankees, falling victim to an excellent start by Gerrit Cole. Clarke Schmidt might represent an easier challenge for San Francisco, but beating the Yankees on the road will still be a tough task. New York is favored at -140 on the moneyline, with the over/under at 8.5 runs.
Let’s make predictions for Saturday’s game and break down why this could be a bounce-back spot for the Giants.
Giants vs. Yankees Prediction
The Giants are in a decent spot here. There’s a lot of pressure on Clarke Schmidt, who will be making his sixth career start in the shadow of Opening Day. The Giants have a better offense than the one we saw on Thursday, and an easier matchup should lead to better results.
San Francisco will have to be careful with the Yankees’ power once again, but Thursday’s game reinforced that New York still has a strikeout-heavy lineup and can be quieted.
Alex Cobb pitched very well in the second half last season and allowed only nine home runs all season. As long as he’s the same pitcher he was in August and September, he’s the guy the Giants should want on the mound in this situation. The Giants are a better value here at +120.
Giants vs. Yankees Prediction: Giants +120
Giants vs. Yankees Odds
The Yankees are favored at home, sitting at -140 on the moneyline.The over/under is 8.5 runs. You can get the Yankees -1.5 at +145.
Both offenses piled up the strikeouts on Opening Day, but only one scored runs. That’s a testament to the pop in the Yankees’ lineup. Will the Giants find their stroke with Schmidt on the hill for New York?
Giants vs. Yankees Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Giants vs. Yankees.
Alex Cobb vs. Yankees’ Power
The Yankees’ lineup has some noticeable flaws, but a lack of power isn’t one of them. Thursday’s game showcased how New York can win even on a difficult, high-strikeout day, with homers from both Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres.
Which Alex Cobb will show up on Saturday? Cobb had a sparkling 0.5 HR/9 rate last season, allowing only nine home runs in just under 150 innings, and he had a similarly impressive rate early in his career with the Rays. Cobb’s home run rate was triple that mark from 2016-2020, though.
Based on results from 2021 and 2022, it seems like Cobb will be well-equipped to neutralize the Yankees’ power bats, and that’s one reason for my Giants vs. Yankees prediction. The Yankees will have to hope Cobb has a rocky start to the season like he did in 2022.
Giants Lineup vs. Clarke Schmidt Inexperience
To say Opening Day was a dud for the Giants’ offense would be an understatement. The Yankees recorded 16 strikeouts and allowed only four San Francisco hits. There has to be more of a sense of urgency in a game that will be pitched by Schmidt and a collection of Yankees relievers.
Schmidt pitched well last season but only made three starts, serving mostly as a reliever. He’s not likely to give New York a ton of length at this stage of the season. With only five career starts under his belt and some control issues in the past, it’ll be up to Giants veterans to put pressure on him early in this one. That includes Joc Pederson and Brandon Crawford, who combined for five strikeouts on Thursday.
Getting shut down by Cole is fine. Getting shut down by Schmidt would officially be a concern for the Giants’ offense.
Giants vs. Yankees Starting Lineups
Giants Starting Lineup
1B LaMonte Wade Jr. L
RF Michael Conforto L
3B Wilmer Flores R
DH Joc Pederson L
CF Mike Yastrzemski L
2B Thairo Estrada R
SS Brandon Crawford L
LF Blake Sabol L
C Roberto Perez R
Yankees Starting Lineup
2B DJ LeMahieu R
CF Aaron Judge R
1B Anthony Rizzo L
RF Giancarlo Stanton R
3B Josh Donaldson R
DH Gleyber Torres R
LF Oswaldo Cabrera S
C Jose Trevino R
SS Anthony Volpe R