Yankees vs. Orioles Game 3
By: Willie Bee
No sooner had I mentioned the Baltimore Orioles were experiencing a power outage, their lumber awoke with a 14-5 shellacking of the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
The old foes now engage in a rubber game under the lights Wednesday in the Bronx, the first pitch scheduled to be delivered by New York rookie Masahiro Tanaka at 7:05 PM (ET). SBR's live baseball odds sent the Yankees out as solid $1.70 favorites, and early wagering pushed that moneyline up to the low-180s at man shops.
Miguel Gonzalez is slated to take his second turn in the Orioles rotation, and bettors are seeing both 8 and 8.5 options for the total.
Birds Bang Early
& Often In Game 2 Rout
The sweetest sight for Buck Showalter on Tuesday had to be Adam Jones' 2-run homer to dead center at Yankee Stadium. Jones had been collecting a few hits here and there to open the 2014 campaign, but had not homered and only had 2 RBI entering the afternoon tilt. He doubled the RBI tally with the 1st-inning blast, and ignited the whole affair. Delmon Young and Matt Wieters also added to the blowout with home runs, Young one of three O's enjoying a 3-hit afternoon.
Gonzalez knows what Ivan Nova went through Tuesday in the Bronx after getting hammered for seven runs and nine hits in his season debut last Friday in Detroit. The Guadalajara native served up long balls to Torii Hunter and Rajai Davis in his abbreviated outing after allowing just one blast every seven innings or so in 2013.
He has done okay against the Yankees and in New York the past two year, making seven career starts against the pinstriped posse with a career 4.01 ERA (Baltimore 3-4). The Birds are 2-3 in his five assignments at Yankee Stadium, where his ERA bumps to 4.25 in nearly 30 innings.
Tanaka Gets First
Test In Front Of Home Fans
It had to be a pretty nerve-wracking trip to the mound for Tanaka last week when he made his MLB debut in Toronto. Those nerves were tested even more when he served up a homer to the first batter he faced, Melky Cabrera. But, Tanaka kept the cart between the ditches after that to pick up the eventual victory.
I suspect the butterflies to be even more numerous Wednesday when he pitches at Yankee Stadium for the first time. The big key will be that first batter, and all that might follow in the first inning. Tanaka was able to get through seven innings on 97 tosses last week, with eight strikeouts and no walks, and we shouldn't expect Joe Girardi to go much past that pitch count Wednesday night.
Tim Welke is making his fourth appearance behind the plate on the young season, and second in the boroughs of the Big Apple. The Pontiac, Michigan native is 2-1 'over' so far in 2014 after splitting totals last year.
I'm not expecting Baltimore hitters to have another 14-run outburst, but I do think we'll see another high-side winner on the total this evening and will add the 'over' to my free MLB pick for Wednesday.
My pick: Orioles-Yankees Over 8.5 (+100)Season: 7-6 (+0.75)
Yankees vs. Orioles Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Seven games into the season, and you can already count me among those tired of the Derek Jeter farewell tour. Don't get me wrong, he ranks among the game's greatest players, and I understand all of the emotions on the part of the fans plus the need for the networks to cash in on the whole event.
But can we please just get back to baseball Tuesday when the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles continue their series? For anyone actually interested in the game over the pomp and circumstance, first pitch is 1:05 PM (ET), the Yankees went out as -150 favorites with Ivan Nova on the mound opposite Wei-Yin Chen, and an 8.5 run total was quickly adjusted up to 9.
SBR's live MLB odds now show the moneyline in the low -130s following overnight wagering, while the total is 8.5 at most betting outlets.
Kuroda Pitches Yanks
Past Birds In Opener
Chalk up Monday's 4-2 win for the Yanks to Hiroki Kuroda and the New York bullpen. Kuroda worked into the seventh allowing just two runs, with four relievers snuffing any hopes Baltimore had for a rally by holding the O's scoreless over the final eight outs. New York's lineup scratched out eight hits in the contest, but it was six walks -- two of the free passes coming around to score -- that did the most damage.
Joe Girardi now gives the ball to Nova in hopes of running the win streak to three and keeping the Yankees atop the AL East. Nova earned the dubya in New York's first win of the season last week in Houston, but needed four double plays behind him after issuing five walks, uncorking a wild pitch and hitting Astros catcher Jason Castro twice before leaving in the sixth. He averaged just 2.8 base on balls per nine innings last season.
Nova had some of his best stuff a year ago when facing the Orioles. He completed two of his three starts vs. Baltimore, including a 3-hit shutout at Yankee Stadium in late August, and New York won all three of the assignments.
Big Sticks Quiet So
Far In O's Lineup
Baltimore led the majors last season with 212 homers, 24 more than the next closest team, but the Orioles have managed to club just three so far in 2014. Two of those belong to Nelson Cruz and came in the first two games of the season, while Chris Davis and Adam Jones remain without a long ball after combining for 86 in 2013.
Chen hasn't had much luck against the Yankees, going 1-3 with a 5.58 ERA in seven starts (Baltimore 2-5). The lefty couldn't keep his pitches off Boston bats last week at Fenway, allowing 12 hits (11 singles) and four runs during his 5.2 innings of work in a 4-3 setback.
There is a 40% chance of rain in the Big Apple this morning, but that's supposed to give way to partly cloudy skies and temps in the mid-60s this afternoon. Southwest winds (out to left) in the 15-20 mph range are also in the offing, and that has me thinking we could see some runs today in the Bronx. My free MLB pick is on the 'over.'
My pick: Orioles-Yankees Over 8.5 (-120)Season: 6-5 (+0.75)
Yankees vs. Orioles Game 1
By: Willie Bee
It's the most-played series in the American League, and dates to the turn of the previous century when one of the franchises was operating under the current name of the other. Monday afternoon, the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles renew their rivalry with the opener of a 3-game set.
The contest marks the home opener for the Yankees, and gets underway at 1:05 PM (ET). Baltimore manager Buck Showalter sends Ubaldo Jimenez to the Bronx bump while Joe Girardi counters with Hiroki Kuroda for New York.
New York opened around -140 on the moneyline, and is now -150 at most shops charted by SBR's live MLB odds. The total is 8.5, leaning 'under.'
Monday's matchup is the 2,150th regular season game played between the Birds and Bronx Bombers, and you can add 10 more postseason tilts in 1996 and 2012 to that tally. It's been a close series the past two seasons with New York owning a slim 19-18 advantage.
The Yankees are 30-15 at their new stadium on 161st street, going 6-3 at home in 2013 by winning all three series played in New York. The 'under' also cashed six times a year ago, along with one push.
O's Upset Verlander,
Tigers To Stop Early 4-Game Slide
Baltimore (2-4 straight up, -1.5 units) got its season off to a winning start last week at home, earning a dubya over the Boston Red Sox. But the Orioles dropped the next two in that series vs. Boston, and the skid continued by dropping the first two of the set in Detroit over the weekend.
The Orioles stopped the early slump Sunday with an upset of Justin Verlander and the Tigers in Detroit, a game in which Baltimore opened as a $1.50 underdog. Chris Tillman has started both of Baltimore's wins, so now we get to see if anyone else in the rotation is going to step up.
Tillman's effort Sunday is the only quality start Showalter has gotten from his rotation so far, and Jimenez's season debut was the best of the rest despite allowing five runs (4 earned) in six innings last Wednesday vs. the Red Sox. Jimenez has faced the Yankees three times since moving to the American League midway through the 2011 season, and he's 0-3 with an 8.21 ERA to show for it.
Jeter Climbs All-Time
Hit List In Sunday's Win At Toronto
New York (3-3, -0.9) spent the first week of the schedule on the road, managing to split six games in Houston and Toronto. Offense has been a problem so far for Girardi's gang, but the Yankees had enough in Sunday's 6-4 win over the Blue Jays to survive another mediocre outing from CC Sabathia.
Among New York's nine hits Sunday were a pair of singles by Derek Jeter, moving the Yankees captain past Paul Molitor into ninth place on the all-time hits list. Another 99, and Jeter will tie Carl Yastrzemski for eighth in the column.
Kuroda pitched well last week in Houston, but New York's lineup and defense couldn't support him in a 3-1 loss to the Astros. It was pretty much the same story last year vs. Baltimore as Kuroda pitched well enough to win 2-3 of his four starts against the Orioles, but the only time the Yankees won came when he tossed his fifth career shutout at home in mid-April.
Rain is forecast for the late afternoon and evening, so there's a chance of a delay the longer the game drags on. That could lead to the umpires doing their best to speed up this contest, and one reason behind my free MLB pick on the low side of the total this afternoon in the Bronx.My pick: Orioles-Yankees Under 8.5 (-115)