MLB Picks: Yankees vs. Diamondbacks Series Betting Preview

Willie Bee

Monday, May 16, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Monday, May. 16, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

After being favored on the MLB odds in the first two games, Arizona is an underdog Wednesday when the Diamondbacks look to sweep the Yankees.

18th May
Yankees vs. Diamondbacks Game 3

By: Willie Bee


Slowly but surely, Zack Greinke is returning to form. The former Cy Young winner and 3-time All-Star enjoyed one of his better outings Tuesday night -- and at home in Arizona, no less -- to help the Diamondbacks to a 5-3 win over the Yankees and put his team in position for its third series sweep of the campaign.

Arizona takes aim at the broom job in a 9:40 PM (ET) start which features a matchup of Houston natives on the mound as Nathan Eovaldi takes the ball for Joe Girardi and the Yankees while Chip Hale hands it off to Shelby Miller. A quick check of SBR's live MLB odds reveals sports books do not like the home team's chances with New York favored in the upper-130s on the moneyline. The total opened at 9½ but has since dropped, Bookmaker listing its 9 run mark with a -115 price on the 'over.'


Miller Still Seeking 1st Home Win For Diamondbacks
Very few pitchers throw harder than Eovaldi, but he has yet to harness his fastball into consistently positive results. Wednesday is his fourth road start of 2016, the Yankees losing two of the previous three. It's also his fifth career start in Phoenix, plus a relief appearance, and Eovaldi has done a good job on this mound (2-0, 2.95 ERA, 24.1 IP). Miller is making his sixth home start of the campaign, the D-backs winning just one of the previous five while the righthander compiled a 7.46 ERA for his third team in as many seasons. Seven of the eight home runs Miller has allowed have come in this park where opposing hitters are batting better than .300 compared to just .212 when he chucks on the road. He has faced the Yankees just once before, that start coming in 2014 for the Cardinals (5 IP, 7 ER).


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Jim Reynolds finishes the series behind the plate, and Eovaldi is hopeful for a similar result as the last time the veteran umpire called one of his starts. Reynolds worked Eovaldi's April 25 appearance in Texas, a 3-1 Yankees victory with their righthander hurling seven scoreless frames. That is one of three 'under' winners on Reynolds' scorecard this season, his other three plate jobs going 'over' the baseball odds. Home favorites are just 1-4 when the Massachusetts native calls balls and strikes. There are light showers all around the Phoenic area this morning, but it's all supposed to clear out by this evening when mostly clear skies and temps in the low-80s should greet first pitch. Call me crazy for going this way with my free MLB picks, but I'm riding the 'under' in the series finale. 

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Free MLB Pick: Under 9 (+100) 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Season: 21-21 (+1.10)



17th May
Yankees vs. Diamondbacks Game 2

By: Willie Bee


There's no question the New York Yankees have three very talented pitchers at the back end of their bullpen with Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances combining for a 1.70 ERA and 0.81 WHIP to date. Getting the ball to them in the seventh with a lead, however, has been a problem.

It was a problem again Monday night in their series opener at Arizona as Chad Green wore down early in his major league debut in a 12-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. New York will try and even the series Tuesday when Michael Pineda gets the call for the Yanks opposite Zack Greinke of the D-backs. Arizona is chalked on a -119 line at Pinnacle where the MLB odds list 8½ for the total.


Which Greinke Shows Up Tonight?
Kansas City jumped on Pineda last Wednesday in the Bronx for four runs in the top of the first inning before chasing him with two more in the sixth, a very typical showing for the big righty when he pitches at home this season. Pineda owns a 7.48 ERA in five home assignments, and while he's lost both road starts up to now, he has pitched much better outside New York with a 3.27 ERA. Tuesday night marks his first career start vs. the Diamondbacks.

Only half of Greinke's appearances have gone into the quality start column, just one of those taking place in Arizona. At least he has calmed down a bit when it comes to allowing home runs, the 12-year veteran surrendering three in his last seven starts compared to three in his season debut. He last faced the Yankees in 2013 while he was with the Dodgers, and has a history of being either very good against New York or very, very bad. In nine starts and three relief appearances vs. the pinstripe posse, Greinke is 2-4 with a 5.92 ERA.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Fieldin Culbreth seems to pop up every couple of weeks on our free MLB picks, and he's set to call Game 2. The 23-year veteran is a level 3-3 O/U working the plate this season after his last two assignments fell short of the totals, and he called a New York road clash in Texas earlier this year that finished 'under.'

The weatherman is calling for a few extra clouds in the Phoenix sky this evening, along with a very slight chance of rain. A mid-80s thermometer reading at first pitch is expected, plus a light breeze from the WNW (in from left). Despite his struggles, Greinke at this price is too tough or me to pass up.

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Free MLB Pick: Dbacks -120
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Season: 20-21 (+0.10)


16th May
Yankees vs. Diamondbacks Game 1

By: Willie Bee


Despite playing one of the most exciting and emotional World Series ever, it hasn't exactly developed into a huge rivalry when the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks get together. Still, their 3-game series in the desert to begin the week is a crucial clash as both teams look to reverse slow starts and climb out of the basements of their respective divisions.

All three games of the set are pinned with 9:40 PM (ET) start times at Chase Field, Monday's lid-lifter finding Chad Green on the mound for New York opposite Arizona's Robbie Ray. The late switcheroo by Joe Girardi t New York's usual rotation delayed the MLB odds release, the first moneylines coming out making Diamondbacks favorites in the -130 to -135 range. BetOnline is offering a 9½ run total that is carrying a -120 price on the 'under.'

Everyone remembers the exciting 2001 World Series, the first-ever matchup between Arizona and New York, Luis Gonzalez's RBI single in the ninth capping a rally for the Diamondbacks to win their only championship. They have since met for five 3-game series, the Yankees winning each set for an 11-4 advantage in regular season games. It has been a little more than three years since the Yanks and D-backs collided in New York, and six seasons since their last games in Phoenix, all three games in that meeting finishing 'over' the totals.'


Snakes Drop First 4 On Current Homestand
New York is beginning a week-long road trip out west, a 4-game series in Oakland following this stop in Arizona. The Yankees finished up a successful homestand on Sunday with a 7-5 decision over Chicago to win that series with the White Sox, their 3rd-straight series win after topping the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals.

Green is being called up from Triple-A to make his debut and give both Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi and extra day off. The former Louisville star came to the Yankees from Detroit this past winter in the deal that sent reliever Justin Wilson to the Tigers who claimed the righthander in the 11th-round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Seven starts for Scranton/Wilkes Barre in the International League yielded a 1.22 ERA for Green over 37 innings, whiffing 36 would-be batters along the way.

Arizona is riding a 5-game losing streak into Monday's tilt, each of the losses by two runs or less. The Diamondbacks were swept over the weekend by the San Francisco Giants, dropping a 2-1 decision on Sunday when a call at the end of the game was reversed for a double play after it first appeared Arizona had tied the game to at least force extra innings.

Couple the current 5-game skid with the fact the D-backs have gone down in defeat the last four times Ray has climbed the hill. The most recent appearance came last Wednesday on the road in Colorado, the lefty earning a no-decision with 4.2 innings of work and five runs (3 earned) allowed in the 8-7 setback to the Rockies.


Last 4 At Chase Failed To Reach Totals
Neither team has shown much of a tendency to either side of the totals in 2016, the Yankees hitting the road with a 16-17-3 O/U/P mark vs. the baseball odds and the Diamondbacks running 18-20-2 in those columns. This stadium has lent itself to being hitter-friendly over the seasons, but the scoreboard numbers this time are also fairly level (10-9-1 O/U/P).

It looks like a nice evening in the desert, so the roof should be open at Chase Field. The forecast calls for temps in the mid-80s at first pitch with an 8-10 mph SW breeze (out to right). My game forecast calls for a mild upset tonight; despite the Yankees being bad on the road (4-10), the Diamondbacks are even worse at home (5-12), so my free MLB pick is on New York.

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Free MLB Pick: Yankees +115
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Season Record: 20-20 (+1.10)

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