First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Petco Park
Probable pitchers: Gerrit Cole (7-3, 2.84 ERA) vs. Tyler Glasnow (5-1, 4.08 ERA)
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Predictions
For the second year in a row (and second such instance this has happened in Major League history), frontline starters Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow will square off in a winner-take-all game in the postseason.
Except this time, it isn’t Glasnow and the Rays dealing with Cole pitching for the Houston Astros. The three-time All-Star dons pinstripes these days — and now works with maybe the most potent lineup.
Offense has played a leading role in this best-of-five American League Division Series. The over hit in each game (although it should’ve pushed in the opener) until last night’s Game 4, in which the Yanks knotted things up with a 5-1 ‘W.’
First off, it should be noted how tough this particular elimination game is to predict. Both starters are going on career-short rest — Cole on three days, while Glasnow is on just two days of rest! — and the relievers have seen a lot of innings as well, so they undoubtedly have to be taxed, too. Thus, anyone that says they have a full beat on either team’s exact game plan as far as pitching goes is absolutely lying.
But we can try to decipher all that, first by looking for constants. Cole is as much a constant as there in regards to starting pitchers. However, we must also consider that he’s never started on such a brief layoff and wonder if it’ll faze the righty.
I don’t think it will. As it is, when Cole is pitching on his normal shortest rest (four days), he owns a delightful career 2.74 ERA in such outings. On five or more days of rest, that number jumps up almost a full run (3.72). And that’s the regular season.
In the playoffs, Cole going on shorter rest is just absolute dominance. There were four times this happened and Cole responded by forcefully willing a 1.33 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in those starts. He also racked up a Cole-like 31 Ks in 27 innings.
Considering he called pitching for the Yankees in an elimination game a “special opportunity,” we can figure he’s covering the majority of this game and won’t let up.
On the Rays side, things get trickier. Glasnow has been the opposite of his counterpart this evening when it comes to pitching on short rest, sporting an uncharacteristic 5.44 ERA when starting on four days’ rest. Compare that to a 4.00 ERA during starts involving more rest and perhaps maybe that’s a trend of Glasnow.
Then again, he’s made 54 big-league starts in his still-young career, so I say that’s still up in the air. Either way, this is a real dominant pitcher when on his game.
Glasnow reminded everyone that once again when he beat the Yankees on Tuesday and struck out 10. The key for me is that he really isn’t expected to go deep.
My belief is that Glasnow will only be given the first turn or two through the batting order, before paving way to Blake Snell, the equally-as-outstanding left-hander who started in Game 1. Meaning we’re getting an enticing tag team of Glasnow and Snell for most of the frames.
Sign me up for that while Cole spins his usual effort and improves upon Game 1.
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular season: “19-42-4,” -28.91 units
Postseason: 5-3, +1.45 units
Last Result: Athletics-Astros Under 9 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (postseason 0.5 unit except first one)