Thanks to a postponement on Thursday, we're set with a three-game slate here on Friday in the divisional round of the 2022 MLB playoffs. Through two days of gambling, we're ahead at +125 and now is the time to thank big Yordan Alvarez for easily going over 1.5 total bases in Game 2 of that series on Thursday.
The other three series will be playing Friday. Let's make some money.
All lines courtesy of Caesars
Guardians-Yankees OVER 6.5 runs (+100)
Well, I'm counting on the Yankees to do the heavy lifting here, maybe even get all the way there on their own.
Guardians starter Shane Bieber is really good, but there was a lot of work done on his numbers against weaker offenses. Of his 31 starts, 18 came against teams that finished under .500 and five more came against the exactly-.500 White Sox. In the eight starts against teams that finished with a winning record, Bieber had a 3.91 ERA. He did throw well against the Rays in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series, but they had a bottom-third offense in the AL.
The Yankees were first in runs and home runs while sitting second in OPS. The only other time Bieber has seen the Yankees in the playoffs, they got him for seven runs on nine hits in less than five innings. Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres took him deep. Josh Donaldson has two career homers in just 10 at-bats against Bieber.
Simply: The Yankees will score some runs here.
Anthony Rizzo OVER 0.5 RBI (+173)
Rizzo hit a two-run home run in Game 1 of the series, meaning he now has two homers in two career playoff games for the Yankees. He's also in a nice lineup spot, hitting behind Aaron Judge.
I felt like his swings looked good in Game 1 and he's an incredibly streaky power hitter. That is to say, they come in bunches and Bieber can be susceptible, at times, to the home run to opposing lefties. If you like a Rizzo homer, it's +410. The total bases number is 0.5 and taking the over there carries rough odds (-188), so we're just going with a run driven home.
Bryce Harper OVER 1.5 total bases (+133)
We hit on Bryce Harper's Game 2 double and I'd like to stick with it. So far in his four playoff games this year, he's 6 for 14 with two doubles and a home run and that's after an 0 for 3 in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. He's 0 for 4 in his career against Braves starter Spencer Strider, but Strider isn't going to last very long in this game coming off his injury -- the Braves have said maybe two or three innings -- and the Braves will need to piece together from the underbelly of their bullpen in the middle innings. I like Bryce.
Dodgers-Braves OVER 7.5 runs (+105)
First off, both of the first two games went over and that was with the Dodgers starting NL ERA champion Julio Urías and Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw. The Padres had ace Yu Darvish going in Game 2. And, again, both got to eight runs.
Game 3 comes after a day off, but both bullpens had a bunch of high-effort innings in the first two games.
Padres starter Blake Snell was great once we got to July, but one of his three terrible outings came against these Dodgers. He also walked six in 3 1/3 innings against the Mets in the Wild Card Series. Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin, on the other side, has only thrown two innings since Aug. 23 after a forearm injury shut him down.
Meantime, the teams have combined for seven home runs so far this series after the Padres clubbed five in three games in the first round.
I like some runs.
Trea Turner OVER 0.5 runs (+110)
I like several of the hitters here. Freddie Freeman has had some good cuts. Manny Machado is killing the ball. Those two have pretty undesirable odds in hits and total bases, though, and it's tough to hit those anyway.
It's tough to count on runs scored, too, but Trea Turner is 3 for 9 with a double, two homers and three runs scored so far this series. He's also a huge stolen base threat against the worst team in the league at preventing steals on a percentage basis. If he gets on first, there's a decent chance he'll come around to score. If he clubs an extra-base hit, even better.
BONUS: Manny Machado home run (+480)
Look, these are never likely to hit, but I was kicking myself during Mariners-Astros Game 2 when Yordan Alvarez went deep. I thought about calling a home run when I wrote the gambling column and didn't have the guts to put it in writing.
Machado already has two doubles and two homers in five postseason games and a good number of his outs have been loud. He's had good success against several Dodgers relievers in his career -- Blake Treinen (5 for 15, HR), Chris Martin (4 for 11, 2B) and Brusdar Graterol (3 for 8), to name a few -- and he's 3 for 11 (.273) with a double against Gonsolin.
Really, it just feels right. If you don't mind laying a low-risk amount on a high-reward wager, think about a Machado bomb.