Oddsmakers are showing love to the Cleveland Guardians early on

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Cleveland Guardians congratulate each other after winning a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Washington, Friday, April 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The Cleveland Guardians hosted a high-profile early-season matchup with the New York Yankees this week, taking in a three-game set at Progressive Field that got some consistent betting action.In the first game, the Guardians were slight moneyline favorites at -150 with Shane Bieber on the mound. He struggled in the first inning and gave up two runs, but settled down and looked dominant for most of his outings, going seven strong in a 3-2 win over the Bombers. The total run number was well under 7.5 and that paid out -115. The Yankees put their ace Gerrit Cole on the mound in Game 2 and with Cole off to a fast start, it’s no surprise the Yankees were -170 favorites. Cole didn’t have his blow away stuff, but he was steady for seven innings. Cleveland put Hunter Gaddis on the hill and he had a rough time. Gaddis gave up five in the third inning and failed to record an out in the fourth inning of an 11-2. loss. The 13 runs easily went over the total runs line of eight and paid -105.Cleveland was a slight underdog in the rubber match, betting between -105 and -100. The Guardians tagged Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt for three runs early, but the Guardians made some defensive miscues and the Yankees rallied for a 4-3 win. The over/under was set at 9.5 and the under paid out at -105. The Guardians are 3-3 against the spread at FanDuel Sportsbook when they are moneyline underdogs. Cleveland will continue its weekend three-game set against the Washington Nationals on Saturday and the Guardians should be big favorites in every game. They are at -250 to take the series and -170 on the moneyline Saturday when Zach Plesac will take the bump against Chad Kuhl of the Nationals.With a little less than 10 percent of the season down some of the odds on the individual awards have shifted. Bieber looks like he’s back to the form that won him the 2020 American League Cy Young Award and he is currently at +1400 odds to achieve the feat again in 2023. Cole and Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani are both at +500 to lead the back with White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease at +650, Rangers ace Jacob deGrom at +750 and Rays lefty Shane McClanahan at +1000 to round out the top five.Third baseman Jose Ramirez has a slash line of .294/.393/.451 through 13 games this season. He hasn’t hit one out of the park yet but has six doubles and a triple among his 15 hits. Ramirez currently sits in the top ten for the MVP race at +2200. Ohtani is also the betting favorite for MVP at +140.As for the early odds on the AL Central Division race, the Guardians and Minnesota Twins are ahead of the pack with the Twins at +110 to win the AL Central and Cleveland at +140. The Chicago White Sox are +430  with the Kansas City Royals (+5500) and Detroit Tigers (+6000) as major long shots. The Guardians are -125 to make the playoffs in any form.

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