After possibly the ugliest loss in a season full of ugly losses, the New York Yankees will look to stop the bleeding in the second game of a three-game set against the Cleveland Guardians in the Bronx. They’ll have the right man for the job, as Gerrit Cole (5-0, 1.11 ERA) is set to start against electric Cleveland rookie Tanner Bibee (1-0, 1.59). First pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Yankees are -170 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Guardians check in as +145 underdogs. The run total is set at 7.
Guardians-Yankees picks: Tuesday, May 2
Out: RP Sam Hentges (left shoulder inflammation), SP Aaron Civale (left oblique strain), SP Triston McKenzie (right teres major strain)
Day to day: OF Jake Bauers (right knee contusion)
Out: OF Aaron Judge (mild hip strain), OF Harrison Bader (left oblique strain), SP Luis Severino (right lat strain), 3B Josh Donaldson (right hamstring strain), SP Carlos Rodon (left elbow strain, back stiffness), RP Jonathan Loaisiga (right elbow inflammation), C Ben Rortvedt (shoulder aneurysm), OF Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring)
Tanner Bibee vs. Gerrit Cole
One of several top pitching prospects to make a splash in their MLB debut so far this year, Bibee lit up the Colorado Rockies in his first career start, striking out eight over 5.2 innings of one-run ball. Both his fastball and slider are explosive, while he even showcased a solid changeup that earned plenty of swings and misses against left-handed batters. Given his plus command at every level of the Minor Leagues, his stuff is more than good enough to navigate Major League lineups multiple times.
Cole is doing it a bit differently than he has in the past — with fewer strikeouts and whiffs and more ground balls than he’s forced since leaving the Pittsburgh Pirates — but the results have been the same, posting a 1.11 ERA and leading the big leagues in innings pitched. His velocity is down across the board (although that could be due to cold weather early in the year), but with elite command and a five-pitch arsenal, he’ll age as gracefully as anyone. He’s faced the Guardians already this season, going seven shutout innings back in April.
This is the single lowest run total of the night, and considering both Cole and Bibee’s electric stuff — and how dire the Yankees’ offense is without Judge, Stanton and others right now — you can understand why. New York has scored more than three runs just twice since April 21, and if that holds true again against a very tough righty in Bibee, the under is the smart play.
Pick: Under 7
Cole has been the Yankees’ rock all year, but even he needs a little bit of help, and I’m not sure he’ll get it on Tuesday. It’s hard to see how New York will score off Bibee — and the Yankees’ spotty track record in their first time seeing a given starter certainly doesn’t help — while the Guardians have at least been able to make Cole work in the past. Given the plus odds, I’ll take Cleveland.