How Weather Potentially Screws Guardians in ALDS vs. Yankees

Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57).
Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57). / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Guardians are already down 1-0 in the ALDS against the New York Yankees, and yet another break may go in New York's favor.

The New York area is expected to see heavy rainfall on Thursday night, which could postpone Game 2 of the ALDS until Friday. This would mean that the Yankees and Guardians would play four consecutive games (if necessary) to complete the ALDS from Friday to Monday.

On the surface, this may seem like blessing for the Guardians, who were forced to use their top two starters, Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie, in the wild card against the Tampa Bay Rays.

However, if the Guardians are fortunate enough to force this series to go four or five games, they're actually at a major pitching disadvantage.

Moving Thursday's game back to Friday would only make Bieber available to pitching in a winner take all Game 5 on two days rest. Had he pitched Thursday, the Guardians would have been able to bring him back on three days rest for a potential Game 5.

Now, this could hurt the Yankees as well, but the difference is that Gerrit Cole could likely pitching in a Game 4 or 5 for the Yankees since he started on Tuesday. Cleveland would have to roll with No. 3 starter Cal Quantrill, who is solid, but he sin't Bieber.

Originally, the pitching matchups for the ALDS lined up like this, with the likelihood that Quantrill pitched in Game 4 and Bieber came back if the series went to five games.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who was leaning towards a three-man rotation as well in this series, could turn to Jameson Taillon (14-5, 3.91 ERA) to start Game 4 or even Game 5 if the team needs.

As for the Guardians, they will have their pick between a bullpen game, Cody Morris, Zach Plesac or Aaron Civale to pitch in one of the later games of the series. Even though Cleveland has one of the best bullpens in MLB, if the team plays four straight games, it's hard to ask one of them to fully rely on the pen unless one of the starters is able to pitch deep into an outing.

With the Yankees already winning Game 1, they are in the driver's seat. The Guardians may have had the biggest advantage if/when Bieber starts, and they certainly have a better bullpen at the moment with New York's injuries.

Still, losing a chance for Bieber to start two games in the series would be absolutely brutal if the rain forces Thursday night's matchup to be postponed.

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