The Los Angeles Dodgers (35-23) grabbed an 8-4 victory in Game 1 of a highly anticipated interleague series against the New York Yankees (34-25).
There may be reason to expect a bounce back from the visiting two in Game 2 Saturday as ace Gerritt Cole heads to the mound to face unproven rookie Michael Grove.
The MLB odds for tonight’s game expect it to be a close one as it’s essentially a pick ‘em on either side. Will the starting pitching advantage be enough for New York to prevail, or is L.A. establishing itself as a dominant force yet again in 2023?
Read on for my best bet and full MLB picks and predictions for Yankees vs. Dodgers on Saturday, June 3.
Yankees vs Dodgers odds
Yankees vs Dodgers predictions
The Yankees should have a sizable starting pitching advantage on Saturday as ace Gerritt Cole heads to the mound with a perfect record (6-0) and faces a 26-year-old rookie (Michael Grove) with an unseemly 8.44 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. It’s difficult to have a bigger starting pitching contrast in one game — Cole is elite, while Grove is a rotation filler due to injuries.
Cole has hit a few bumps in the road lately, allowing 10 earned runs across his last two starts. Despite the ugly earned run total, I was nonetheless impressed with his nine strikeouts last time out against the San Diego Padres. The 32-year-old’s K-rate (26.2%) is down to its lowest level since 2017, so it was a welcome return to the punchout.
Grove isn’t as bad as his ERA would suggest, but I still have plenty of questions about his overall profile. Projections for this season aren’t kind, as the most favorable (ZiPS) predicts a 4.63 ERA and 4.79 FIP while the most bearish (THE BAT) calls for a 5.47 ERA and 5.30 FIP.
It’s unclear how many innings Grove will be able to chew up, even if he is effective. The most pitches he’s thrown in a start is 79, while he didn’t make it past 67 in any of his other three starts. He’s returning after a seven-week stay on the injured list as well, which provides more questions about his workload.
Aaron Boone’s club should have a big advantage once this one gets turned over to the bullpen. The Pinstripes have a league-best 2.85 ERA in relief while the Boys in Blue have struggled mightily with a 4.58 ERA out of the pen.
The Yankees’ lineup received a big boost Friday with the returns of slugger Giancarlo Stanton and third baseman Josh Donaldson. Their return was felt immediately, as Donaldson homered twice in the opener, while Stanton added another bomb. This is a better lineup than the numbers will show considering they’ve been shorthanded more much of the year but are finally returning to health.
I’m betting on the road team in Game 2.
My best bet: Yankees moneyline (-105 at Caesars)
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Yankees vs Dodgers moneyline analysis
This one currently sits at a pick ‘em as most books are offering -110 odds on both sides. Be sure to shop around using our odds tool as prices fluctuate. Currently, the best price on the Yanks is -105 while the best price on the Dodgers is +104.
Winning at Dodger Stadium hasn’t been a feasible task for most ballclubs — Dave Roberts’ squad is 20-8 at home this season. I would counter that number by pointing out that other teams don’t have Cole. His team is 10-2 across his 12 starts this season while he’s posted a pristine 6-0 record.
The Yankees have been great during interleague play, winning 12 of their last 16 games against the NL. They’ve been especially proficient against right-handed NL starters with a 12-2 record across their last 14 such games. They’ve thrived in the second game of a series, going 81-36 across their last 117 Game 2s.
Spelling things out plainly, I like the Pinstripes in this spot because they have a noticeable starting pitching and bullpen advantage. Their lineup has received a much-needed boost from two of its regulars and faces a struggling rookie who will simply be hoping to survive.
Yankees vs Dodgers Over/Under analysis
The total opened at 8.5 but has since been on the move. Currently, books are offering a flat 9 with the Under slightly juiced.
The Dodgers have been terrific against right-handed pitching this season with a 118 wRC+ and .343 wOBA — both of which rank second in the MLB. Their recent numbers are even better as they’ve posted a 134 wRC+ and .368 wOBA across the last 10 days.
Michael Grove makes his return from the 15-day injured list. He was out since April 21 due to a right groin strain. The right-hander made two rehab starts, allowing just two earned runs across 10 innings while striking out 14 batters compared to a single walk.
The Yanks have been mediocre against righties with a 102 wRC+ (12th) and .317 wOBA (16th). Recent performance tells a similar tale — they check in at 14th in wRC+ (104) and 15th in wOBA (.317) across the last 10 days. As mentioned above, however, I think this lineup is better than the numbers show as they have since returned to health.
The current weather forecast calls for a temperature of 72.9 degrees at the time of first pitch with winds of 6.9 mph blowing out to center field. It’s expected to drop to the high 60s throughout the game while the winds remain steady.
Yankees vs Dodgers game info
|Location:||Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA|
|Date:||Saturday, June 3, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:15 p.m. ET|
Gerrit Cole (6-0, 2.93 ERA): Cole’s record and ERA are certainly eye-catchers, but his underlying stats aren’t quite as impressive. His 3.99 xERA is a full run higher than his actual ERA, while his 3.69 FIP and 3.81 xFIP are pretty close. His 26.2% K-rate is the lowest number he’s posted since 2017, his last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Michael Grove (0-1, 8.44 ERA): The Dodgers are in need of rotation help thanks to multiple starting pitcher injuries so they’ll turn to Grove, who is making his first start since April 20. The 26-year-old has filled in and struggled in his four starts with an 8.44 ERA and 1.75 WHIP, although to be fair most of that damage occurred in one bad start. He allowed a whopping nine earned runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 9 but has allowed a total of six earned runs across his other three appearances.
Trend to know
The Yankees are 10-2 in Gerritt Cole’s 12 starts this season. Find more MLB betting trends for Yankees vs. Dodgers