After a Thursday evening rainout, the Cleveland Guardians will be back in action for Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday afternoon. Despite a 2-1 record this postseason and advancing through the Wild Card Round, the Guardians' offense has sputtered. This unit scored just 4 runs in their first three games, which adds up to 33 innings thanks to last weekend's 15-inning affair.
Manager Terry Francona understands he needs a little help for All-Star Jose Ramirez, the only Guardians hitter batting above .300 in three playoff games. He addressed that need with a tweak to his Game 2 lineup.
Guardians Game 2 Lineup
Francona moved outfielder Oscar Gonzalez up to the cleanup spot, batting behind Ramirez. This move drops Josh Naylor down one spot in the order.
The move can be explained a few different ways, all of which point back to adding some protection for the team's All-Star third baseman. Naylor, a lefty hitter, is not strong against lefty pitching. With Yankees' lefty Nestor Cortes taking the ball in Game 2, Francona is clearly avoiding Naylor's sluggish .173/.276/.236 numbers against southpaws.
While neither Naylor nor Gonzalez has found resounding success against pitching during this playoff run, the latter has slightly better marks. Gonzalez is slashing .231/.286/.462, including that dramatic walk-off home run. His 3 hits and 1 home run both rank second on the team during this stretch of three games.
As it stands, the Guardians have a tall task in Game 2. FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds show Cleveland as +136 moneyline underdogs.
Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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