Some of the biggest names in starting pitching are in action on Friday, but the biggest news revolves around an offensive superstar.
- • Yankees ML (+170)
- • Astros -1.5 (+140)
- • Guardians ML (-130)
New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers
Friday, April 28, 2023 – 08:05 PM EDT at Globe Life Field
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge celebrated his 31st birthday on Wednesday, by hurting himself sliding. The initial report after that game was that he jammed his right hand while trying to steal a base, but apparently, the injuries extended farther along his right side.
After striking out his first two times up in Thursday’s series opener in Texas, Judge was pulled from the game with “right hip discomfort” resulting from Wednesday’s slide.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that no tests were planned to evaluate the hip injury, implying that it wasn’t too serious. He also said it would be reevaluated on Friday. Judge, however, made it seem like he wouldn’t be playing against the Rangers on Friday.
“Just a little grab in the hip area. After that headfirst dive the other night, just kind of whole right side has been a little locked up,” Judge said. “It wasn’t until the second-to-last swing of that at-bat I felt something grab, and they thought it would kind of best just to shut it down and see how we feel after a couple of days.”
Rangers Returning Players
The Rangers got good news from two injured members of the starting lineup. Josh Jung got hit by a pitch on the left hand Wednesday and was held out of Thursday’s game. Manager Bruce Bochy said Jung was already trying to “talk his way into playing”.
Travis Jankowski ran into the wall trying to make a catch and was held out of Thursday’s game with hip tightness, but Bochy said he was “in a good place.”
The pitching matchup—Clarke Schmidt vs. Jacob deGrom—certainly favors Texas, but the Rangers have lost a season-high four in a row and appear to be scuffling.
We’ll take the Yankees to win without Judge instead of paying the heavy moneyline price for the favorites.
MLB Pick: Yankees ML (+170) at Bet365
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Houston Astros
Friday, April 28, 2023 – 08:10 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
World Series Rematch
The Phillies head back to Houston to face the team that beat them in last year’s World Series: the Astros.
Both sides will be missing some of the big names from that matchup, however. Philadelphia is without Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, both on the injured list, while Houston’s Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley are on the Astros’ injured list.
Houston may also be without Yordan Alvarez, who missed the last series with a neck injury that manager Dusty Baker said has been bothering him for the last week. He flew back to Houston early for tests, and, while Baker said he hopes Alvarez can play on Friday, a trip to the injured list seems just as likely.
It’s a battle of two hot teams. Houston has gone through a tough part of its schedule –series against Toronto, Atlanta and Tampa Bay– with a 7-2 mark and has moved into a tie for first in the AL West after a slow start.
Philadelphia has also overcome a slow start to win three straight series and move to .500 for the first time this year. It’s a battle of aces on Friday as the Phillies turn to Aaron Nola, who is 1-2, 5.40 but looked good his last time out. Houston counters with Framber Valdez, 2-0, 2.25.
The Astros are depleted but still the better team, and they have played the tougher schedule, making their surge more significant.
Philly hasn’t played a team currently over .500 since the sixth game of the season. Houston hasn’t played one under .500 since the seventh game.
MLB Pick: Astros -1.5 (+140) at Bet365
Cleveland Guardians vs. Boston Red Sox
Friday, April 28, 2023 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park
Guardians Hope Bieber Helps Snap Slump
The Cleveland Guardians travel to Boston to face the Red Sox, after a homestand that saw the team fall below .500 and out of first in the AL Central. Cleveland went 2-4 at home and is just 3-7 in the last 10. The offense has struggled, managing just 15 runs on the homestand. Manager Terry Francona said the Guardians “have to be more disciplined” at the plate and stop swinging at bad pitches.
The Red Sox have reached .500 after a slow start, and they had won three straight series before losing two of three in Baltimore. Boston returns home for a seven-game homestand that starts with the Guardians.
The Red Sox will start Nick Pivetta in Friday’s opener. He’s 1-1, 4.58 on the year and earned his first win his last time out; he has gone at least five innings in three of his four starts.
Cleveland looks to Shane Bieber, who is 1-1, 3.23. He went at least six in every start except the last one, when he was pulled after 5.2 innings after giving up an uncharacteristic four walks, more than he gave up in any game all of last season.
We like Bieber to bounce back after an outlier start last time and for hitter-friendly Fenway Park to help revive Cleveland’s offense.
MLB Pick: Guardians ML (-130) at Bet365