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Guardians vs. Yankees, Best of 5
Of all of the matchups in this divisional round of the playoffs, this is the one that in the regular season had the clearest edge. The Yankees won five of the six games between the two of them. The Guardians quite literally outlasted the Tampa Bay Rays in their matchup and now they have no break as they need to beat the Yankees.
The Guardians are in the playoffs because of their pitching staff. That is one of, if not the most important things for the playoffs. They gave up a total of one run over 24 innings so far in the playoffs. Now, the Rays aren’t exactly amazing offensively, but they are still a good team. The Yankees on the other hand are a great team offensively. They have scored the second most amount of runs in all of baseball. But, the Guardians pitchers are dealing right now. Despite losing five of the six games between the two clubs, the Yankees only faced Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill once. McKenzie pitched the game that the Guardians won. The closest game they lost was started by Cal Quantrill. The Guardians aren’t going to strike fear into opposing pitching staffs, but the Yankees pitching is hittable.
Will Aaron Judge continue his amazing season? Remember when Alex Rodriguez would have a great year then do nothing in the playoffs? It is totally possible that this happens here. The Yankees lineup doesn’t have many holes, but the Guardians pitchers will need to find them. I’m very concerned for the Yankees though. I have no faith in any pitcher outside of maybe Nestor Cortes. Their bullpen isn’t as reliable as I would hope either. Gerrit Cole was good, but definitely hittable, being especially susceptible to the home run ball. Even as much as I personally don’t like their starters or pitching staff, they were one of only three teams to allow fewer than 600 runs this year.
I think the Guardians are live dogs in this series. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Guardians pull it off, but I’m not sure I can put my money on a +175 line here. I just don’t think the value is good enough. Instead, I’m going to take the Guardians at one of my higher prices +1.5 games at -140. That really means they either win, or the series goes 5 games. If you wanted to hedge that a bit you can put some on under 3.5 games in the series at +250. I’m not, but just a suggestion.
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