After a split in the first two games of their three-game set in the Bronx, the Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees square off in the rubber match on Wednesday night. Cleveland will send ace Shane Bieber (2-1, 3.11 ERA) to the mound, while New York counters with righty Clarke Schmidt (0-3, 6.84). First pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Cleveland is a -130 favorite on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Yankees check in as a narrow +110 underdogs. The run total is set at 7.5.
Guardians-Yankees picks: Wednesday, May 3
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), 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)
Shane Bieber vs. Clarke Schmidt
Bieber defied gravity last season, posting a typically stellar top-line numers despite plummeting velocity and strikeout rates and an expected ERA nearly a full run higher than his actual ERA. 2023 has been more of the same, but even more extreme: The former Cy Young winner’s K rate is now down to 17.1%, nearly half of what it was two years ago, while his fastball is still around 91 mph and he sits in the bottom four percent of the league in average exit velocity. And yet, somehow, the results have been there: Bieber has yet to allow more than three runs or go less than 5.2 innings in any start this season. The man just knows how to get outs, even with diminished stuff, although there are some causes for concern.
Schmidt, meanwhile, is sort of the opposite, picking up bundles of strikeouts (32 in just 25 innings) with an ugly 6.84 ERA. Favoring a slider, cutter and curveball, the righty doesn’t really have a quality option to throw away to left-handed hitters, excelling against righty-heavy lineups (no earned runs and eight Ks in 5.2 innings against the Blue Jays two weeks ago) but struggling against everyone else (five runs on 10 hits in five innings against the Texas Rangers last time out). He allowed three runs on six hits in just four frames in his previous start against Cleveland this year.
It’s hard to imagine this Yankees offense putting up more than a couple of runs against Bieber, which would require Cleveland to score at least six for the over to cash — a tall task for an offense that’s cleared that mark just twice over its last 14 games.
Pick: Under 7.5
Until Schmidt proves that he can navigate a lefty-laden lineup without giving up homers and walks — especially with Yankee Stadium’s short porch looming — he’s just too hard to trust, especially with fairly even odds. Give me Bieber’s track record.