Thanks to Mother Nature, we’ve got a nice unexpected two-game MLB slate on Tuesday. It starts with a win-or-go-home Game 5 between the Guardians and Yankees and wraps up with Game 1 of the NLCS between the Phillies and Padres.
The Pick: Over 7.0 runs (-105)
The series between the Guardians and the Yankees will hopefully come to a conclusion on Tuesday. It’s been drawn out as long as possible, going the full five games with two rainouts.
Monday’s rainout has given both teams some additional options at pitcher. The Yankees are going to start Nestor Cortes, which is an excellent decision. Cortes was their best pitcher during the regular season, racking up a 2.44 ERA over 158 1/3 innings.
However, the Guardians did get to him a bit in his first playoff outing. He was able to limit the damage to just two runs over five innings, but he had a 6.31 FIP in that contest. It’s hard to be overly concerned about just a five-inning sample, but the Guardians have shown the ability to put the ball in play all year. Cortes managed just three strikeouts in his first start, and anything can happen when batters make contact.
Aaron Civale will make the start for the Guardians, and that’s the more questionable decision. The Guardians could use Shane Bieber on near-full rest, and maybe he’ll still be available out of the bullpen. Civale has allowed 10 earned runs in nine innings vs. the Yankees this season, but Terry Francona clearly has some confidence in him. I’d imagine he’s on a short leash, but the Yankees can do some damage while he’s on the bump.
Additionally, home plate umpire Alan Porter has been one of the best umpires for offense this season. The over has gone 20-5 with Porter behind the dish, so there are plenty of reasons to back the over on Tuesday.
The Pick: Phillies ML (+105)
The Padres have had an extremely impressive start to the postseason, knocking off two 100-win teams in the Mets and Dodgers. They’ll now get home-field advantage for the NLCS against a Phillies squad that won just 87 games. If they can take care of business against the Dodgers, they can surely handle the Phillies, right?
Not so fast, my friends. Philly may not have been a juggernaut during the regular season, but they have all the ingredients of a great postseason squad. They have two star-caliber pitchers, including Tuesday’s starter, Zack Wheeler. He’s pitched to a 2.92 ERA or better in all three years with the Phillies, and he owns a 2.19 ERA over his first two postseason starts. The Padres’ offense hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders this season, so they’re going to struggle in this matchup.
Meanwhile, the Phillies' offense just dominated a very good Braves pitching staff. They scored at least seven runs in three of their first four games, and they have guys that can take you deep all throughout their lineup. They averaged the sixth-most homers per game during the regular season, and the ability to hit the long ball is vital during the playoffs. It’s much harder to string together runs against good pitchers, so you need to be able to hit the ball over the wall.
They’ll have their hands full with Yu Darvish on Tuesday, but I’ll take my chances with Wheeler and the Phillies.
Phillies to win the series (+105)
If you think the Phillies can win Game 1, then they certainly have some value to win the series, as well. If the NL playoffs have shown us anything, it’s that home-field advantage is overrated. The Phillies and Padres went 4-0 as the lower-seeded teams, while the teams with home-field advantage were 0-4.
Both teams have their pitching staffs set up the way they want them, but I trust the Phillies' big two more than the Padres’ pitchers. Wheeler and Aaron Nola can start four of the seven games in this series, and Wheeler might also be available out of the bullpen if needed in Game 7. That’s a lot of firepower. Add in the fact that they’re the better offensive team, and I think they’ll ultimately represent the National League in the World Series.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.