MLB Pick: Twins Over Streak To Continue Against Yankees On Friday

Friday, June 24, 2016 12:00 PM GMT

Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees host Tommy Milone and the Twins Friday night to the Bronx. It has been a runfest in Minnesota games of late. Will the scoring continue tonight?

Minnesota Twins (23-49) – Tommy Milone (0-1, 5.79 ERA)
The Twins own the lowest winning percentage in MLB (.319), but enter the Bronx having taken three of the last four games. Manager Pail Molitor's bats are waking up, scoring 30 runs total in this span. But it's the pitching that needs to improve for his team to crawl out of the bottom of the American League Central.

Minnesota's staff ranks last in MLB in several significant pitching categories, including opponent's batting average (.292), hits per game (10.32), slugging percentage (.486) and BABIP (.332). Overall, its 5.64 runs allowed is the second-most behind Cincinnati (5.79)

Tommy Milone takes the mound tonight, hoping to be the spark to turn around a struggling staff. Taking the place of Pat Dean in the rotation, the front office recalled the 29-year-old southpaw from Triple-A Rochester, where he posted a very nice 1.66 ERA and 41/4 K/BB ratio in 48.2 innings of work. Milone went 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA through the first five weeks of the season before dropping down. Twins fans are hoping the left-hander figured it out in his minor-league stint. Milone has put in just three quality starts over his last 16 starts in a Minnesota uniform.

The southpaw is 0-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees, though two of those outings occurred in 2012. He's only faced four current Pinstripers lifetime (Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Chase Headley), giving up three home runs and a .368 batting average in 19 overall plate appearances.

Opening at +203 in the MLB Odds, it is the lowest price ever for a Milone start. His teams (Nationals, Athletics and Twins) own a 34-26 record as underdogs, returning nearly 30 percent ROI at +129 average odds per start. Going off at a line of +150 or greater, Milone's clubs are 7-3 overall at an average price of +168, including a 3-1 career mark with the Twins with the soft-tossing lefty and his relief give up just 3.6 runs per outing in this situation. If Milone can replicate his Rochester mojo tonight, it could be a big payday for Twins backers.

The OVER is a 46-23-3 when the Twins play this season, and a remarkable 16-1-1 in the last 18 games. During the latter stretch, Minny and its opponents combine for 12.0 runs per game, soaring over an 8.7 average total.

New York Yankees (35-36) – Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 2.91 ERA)
Sitting six games out of first in the AL East, the Yankees are quietly inching their way to the top of the division. After starting the season a dismal 8-14, they pieced together a winning May (16-13) and are 11-9 in June with their final seven games at home against the Twins and Rangers.

Ace Masahiro Tanaka looks to secure victory tonight. Since 2014, the Yankees are 38-21 when the Japanese national pilots the ship, their best winning percentage behind any starter in this time.

Tanaka baffled this same Twins lineup in his last start, allowing one run on seven hits in 8.0 innings. Lifetime, he is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA against today's opponents. Tanaka has allowed a .259 batting average to the current roster, but yielded only three extra-base hits in 58 at-bats—all doubles.

New York is 18-5 when Tanaka squares off against a team averaging 9.0 hits or less in his career at Yankee Stadium (34-13 overall). He and the pen hold opponents to 2.6 runs on 6.8 hits per game in this spot. In 2016, manager Joe Girardi's men are 5-0 in this spot. The Twins enter slugging just 8.49 per game, 17th best in the bigs.

Final Analysis
The line here is too steep to back the Yankees, and it is tough to trust the Twins money line with their horrid bullpen (4.67 ERA). The play here is likely in the total, and we are going against the line movement to play the OVER 8 runs. New York has mashed left-handed starters carrying a 4.00 ERA or higher this season to the tune of 5.2 runs per game. Likewise, the Twins have clobbered good right-handed starters on the road of late, slugging in 5.3 runs per game in seven games versus those allowing three runs or fewer per start, including Taijun Walker, Felix Hernandez, and Jordan Zimmermann most recently. Over 8 is the free MLB Pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 8 -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage