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Guardians vs. Yankees Prediction: Bronx Bombers should deliver in decisive Game 5

Look for New York to advance to the ALCS with a comfortable home victory over Cleveland

New York Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon delivers a pitch during the 10th inning of an American League Division Series playoff game against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
New York Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon delivers a pitch during the 10th inning of an American League Division Series playoff game against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)Read moreSarah Stier / Getty Images

With their season on the brink Sunday, the New York Yankees turned to high-priced ace Gerrit Cole, and he delivered a clutch performance in a 4-2 victory in Cleveland. Now the Yankees and Guardians return to Yankee Stadium for a quick-turnaround, winner-take-all Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

Oddsmakers like New York’s chances to complete its comeback from a 2-1 series deficit and earn another shot at the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. But where does the actual betting value lie?

Here’s our best bet for Monday’s Game 5 Guardians vs. Yankees clash.

Guardians vs. Yankees odds (Caesars Sportsbook)

Moneyline: Guardians (+130) @ Yankees (-150)

Run line: Guardians +1.5 runs (-170) @ Yankees -1.5 runs (+143)

Total: 7.5 runs (Over +100/Under -120)

Guardians vs. Yankees Prediction

  1. New York Yankees -1.5 runs (+143 at Caesars Sportsbook)

Guardians vs. Yankees Prediction: Analysis

There’s little doubt that Yankees manager Aaron Boone would prefer to hand the ball to co-ace Nestor Cortes on Monday. Likewise, Cleveland manager Terry Francona would love to see former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber on the bump.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature delayed Game 2 by a day, ending any chance that either Cortes or Bieber could start Game 5 on three days’ rest.

The good news for both Boone and Francona: Their backup options aren’t too shabby.

Yankees right-hander Jameson Taillon (14-5, 3.91 ERA) is coming off the best season of his six-year big league career. And while Guardians starter Aaron Civale regressed this season — he went 5-6 with a 4.92 ERA after going 12-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 2021 — the right-hander was fantastic down the stretch when his team needed it most.

Civale yielded two earned runs or fewer in nine of his final 10 regular season starts, pitching to a 3.00 ERA over that stretch. Most importantly, Cleveland went 7-1 in Civale’s last eight outings.

So why fade the 27-year-old Monday? A few reasons. First off, Civale hasn’t pitched since the season finale Oct. 5. No matter how many bullpen sessions or simulated games you throw, it’s difficult to regain your form after an 11-day layoff — particularly in a high-leverage, no-room-for-error situation.

More importantly, look at the quality of competition Civale faced in the regular season’s final six weeks: three starts against the Royals; two against the White Sox and Tigers; and one against the Rangers. He did dominate the Padres in a 3-1 road victory on Aug. 23, but followed that with a 4-0 loss at the Mariners (his worst start during his final 10 appearances).

Also, Civale was far worse on the road this season (1-3, 5.88 ERA) than at home (4-3, 3.80). He also was hit hard in two starts against the Yankees, giving up a combined 10 runs on 12 hits in nine innings. New York won both by the combined score of 16-3.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

As for Taillon, he also finished the regular season strong, with New York going 7-1 in his last eight starts. Granted, Taillon got roughed up in his only appearance in this series in Game 2. He entered in the 10th inning of a 2-2 contest and gave up the winning runs while failing to record an out in an eventual 4-2 home loss.

However, Taillon was otherwise terrific at Yankee Stadium this season, going 7-3 with 3.88 ERA in 16 starts. The Yankees won 12 of those outings, including a 6-1 rout of Cleveland back in April when Taillon outdueled Civale, giving up the one run on a solo homer in five innings.

Overall, New York went 24-8 behind Taillon this season, with 18 of those victories — including seven of the last eight — being by multiple runs. Additionally, eight of the 10 Guardians-Yankees meetings this season (including three of four in this ALDS) have covered the run line.

Look for the Yankees’ potent offense to jump on a rusty Civale early in Monday’s contest. And while the Guardians’ bullpen has been vastly superior to New York’s in the postseason — 0.70 ERA vs. 3.55 ERA — by the time Francona deploys it, the Yankees should have a comfortable enough lead.

Play New York -1.5 runs at +140 odds at Caesars Sportsbook.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.