MLB Divisional Round Betting Guide: Guardians at Yankees, Game 5

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Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at today's most appealing MLB lines from FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Cleveland Guardians at New York Yankees

Guardians Moneyline (+128)
Jose Ramirez to Hit a Home Run (+360)
Anthony Rizzo to Record an RBI (+160)

Anything can happen in a winner-take-all baseball game, so this should be a fun one tonight between the Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees.

It'll be Aaron Civale and Jameson Taillon as the starting pitchers, and that has me leaning toward the Guardians.

The Yankees are at home and are priced as -152 favorites, and while the Yankees are the better team -- New York's +240 run differential this year dwarfs Cleveland's +64 clip -- the Guardians, at least in my eyes, have a slight edge in the starting-pitching department.

Civale was excellent in the second half. The Cleveland right-hander posted a 3.01 xFIP, 27.5% strikeout rate and 4.2% walk rate after the break. He's given up more than two runs in a start just once across his last 10 outings, although he permitted four earned runs in six frames against the Yankees in the start right before that 10-game run.

In addition to the red-hot form, Civale has also been tough on lefties, which matters a lot given the short porch in right. Left-handed hitters mustered a meager .308 wOBA against Civale in 2022 while striking out 28.3% of the time.

As for Taillon, he pitched to a solid 3.85 SIERA this year, but he's not an overpowering guy, striking out just 20.7% of hitters. He allowed exactly four runs in two of his last four starts, and he didn't retire any of the three batters he faced in relief in Game 2.

With all that said, neither starting pitcher will have much of a leash in this decider. Both guys have strikeout props set at 3.5, and there's juice on the under, so oddsmakers aren't expecting them to stick around for very long. This could turn into a bullpen game rather quickly. That's not a bad thing for Cleveland, though.

The Guardians ranked second-best in reliever xFIP (3.18) in the second half and also had the second-highest strikeout rate (28.1%) in the split. If the Yankees fall behind and need to score late, they'll be facing an uphill battle against the likes of Trevor Stephan, James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase.

We project Cleveland to win 44.3% of the time. That comes out to a +126 moneyline, so there's a sliver of value in the Guardians' current +128 moneyline price. This line is moving toward Cleveland, who was +136 to win earlier this morning.

There are a few props that catch my eye.

Jose Ramirez will get to hit from the left side at the start, and that's been his much better side -- although it's tough to put too much faith into matchups for any hitter in a game like this one (read: he might see Taillon just once). In the split this season, Ramirez racked up a .393 wOBA and 50.0% fly-ball rate. Hitting left-handed also gives Ramirez easier access to the short porch in right. I'll take one of the game's best hitters to go deep at a +360 number.

I'm also into Anthony Rizzo to record an RBI (+160). Rizzo hit third last night, right behind Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge. That's a pretty nice place to be for RBI chances. While it's true Civale has been tougher on lefties, he also gives up a good amount of hard contact in the split, including a 37.3% hard-hit rate and 41.9% fly-ball rate. And if Rizzo sees lefties during the game, that's no problem as he had a .383 wOBA in lefty-lefty matchups this season.