The Yankees struck quickly against Shane Bieber on Monday but didn’t put a run on the board over the final eight innings. Will their luck change against rookie Hunter Gaddis? New York won’t need a ton of run production if Gerrit Cole pitches the way he did in his first two starts when he faces the Guardians on Tuesday. The Yankees enter as -170 favorites on the moneyline.
Let’s make predictions for Tuesday’s matchup and dive into why the Yankees are poised to bounce-back.
Yankees vs. Guardians Prediction
The Yankees have yet to lose back-to-back games this season, and it’s hard to see that happening with Cole on the mound. New York’s ace has pitched like a Cy Young contender early this season, missing bats and giving the Yankees solid length for this point in the year. Going on the road is a different task, but the Guardians haven’t been hitting well enough to have much concern about Cole.
The Yankees didn’t impress at the plate against Shane Bieber on Monday night. That should change against a rookie with such little experience. Gaddis’ unsteady start to the season isn’t a great sign ahead of a matchup with the Yankees’ combination of power and patience in the lineup.
Yankees -170 doesn’t give you much value here, but there’s enough of a gap between these two teams on Tuesday night for Yankees -1.5 (+105) to still be a safe play.
Yankees vs. Guardians Prediction: Yankees -1.5 (+105)
Yankees vs. Guardians Odds
The Yankees enter as decisive road favorites at -170 on the moneyline, with the over/under at 8 runs.
There’s no way to make New York an underdog until Cole shows some vulnerability, even in his first road start of the season. Whether Gaddis and Cleveland’s strong bullpen can stifle the Yankees’ offense for a second consecutive night could be the biggest story beyond Cole.
Yankees vs. Guardians Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Yankees vs. Guardians
Gerrit Cole vs. Guardians’ Low-Strikeout Lineup
The Guardians easily had the fewest strikeouts of any team last season with just over seven per game. While that number has ticked up to 8.6 early this season, this is still a Cleveland lineup that will make contact – even if Mike Zunino and Josh Bell have added a new element.
Whether the Guardians can make as much contact as they did last season is a question that will face a tough test against Cole.
There are few starters better at generating swings-and-misses than Cole, who has 19 strikeouts through two starts. He beat the Guardians twice in the postseason last year, posting 8 K’s in each game. A Cleveland breakout against a grizzled veteran who seems to be at the top of his game doesn’t seem likely, which is a major reason for my Yankees vs. Guardians prediction.
Can the Yankees score early on Hunter Gaddis?
The concern for the Yankees heading into last year’s ALDS was getting into a battle of the bullpens. New York won the series, but the bullpens were the difference in Game 2 and Game 3 losses.
While the Yankees’ bullpen has a case to be one of baseball’s better units this season, they saw how quickly Emmanuel Clase dispatched them in the ninth inning on Monday and would rather not get into a close game against such a strong Guardians ‘pen. Scoring early against a rookie pitcher is a must.
Gaddis was blown up in his first start this season but bounced back very nicely last week. The Yankees have a lineup with enough power and patience to make Gaddis look more like the pitcher he was in start No. 1. If they let him get away with it, a close game in the late innings could spell trouble.
Yankees vs. Guardians Starting Lineups
Yankees Starting Lineup
3B DJ LeMahieu R
CF Aaron Judge R
1B Anthony Rizzo L
RF Giancarlo Stanton R
DH Gleyber Torres R
LF Oswaldo Cabrera S
C Jose Trevino R
RF Franchy Cordero L
SS Anthony Volpe R
Guardians Starting Lineup
LF Steven Kwan L
SS Amed Rosario R
3B Jose Ramirez S
1B Josh Naylor L
2B Andres Gimenez L
DH Josh Bell S
RF Will Brennan L
C Mike Zunino R
CF Myles Straw R