Pick Yankees vs. Twins: Home Advantage Won't Help

Jeff Grant

Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:42 PM GMT

Phil Hughes got the best of his former teammates the first time he faced them in 2014, but the New York Yankees will exact revenge against the Minnesota Twins Thursday night. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting lines for this American League showdown.

In desperate need of a win
New York is mired in a season-high five-game losing streak, as it dropped a 6-3 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays as +101 home underdogs Wednesday, while the 'under' is 3-1-1 in that period of time. MLB handicappers will find this to be the latest point in the season that the Bronx Bombers have been under .500 during the Joe Girardi era, but they’ve got an opportunity to turn things around over the weekend—producing an 11-3 record in their last 14 regular-season games at this ballpark.

It’s still important to know that the Yankees have dropped both opportunities as road favorites of -150 to -175 during the 2014 campaign.


Fallen into a pattern
Minnesota has alternated wins and losses over its last five affairs, as it comes off a 4-0 setback to the Kansas City Royals as +125 home underdogs Wednesday, while going under the betting total for the fifth time in six contests. The Twins are going to struggle to score runs heading into the 2014 MLB All-Star break, considering first baseman Joe Mauer just landed on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is a miserable 18-39 as underdogs of +125 to +150 when playing at this ballpark.


Tanaka 
Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (11-3, 2.10 ERA) has dropped back-to-back trips to the mound, including a 2-1 defeat to the Boston Red Sox despite allowing just two runs and seven hits in going the distance. The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.10 ERA in seven road appearances—issuing just five free passes and striking out 54 batters in 51.1 combined frames. Tanaka has registered a remarkable 7-1 record and 1.52 ERA in nine starts against teams outside of the American League East division, including a 3-1 home victory over the Twins on May 31.


Hughes
Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes (8-4, 3.58 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last six efforts, as he looks to bounce back from a 5-0 setback on the road to the Texas Rangers—giving up five runs and 11 hits over 7.2 innings of work. The right-hander is 3-2 with a 4.75 ERA in eight home outings, with opposing hitters batting .270 against him (.275 on the road). Hughes earned a 7-2 road victory over the Yankees on May 27—a team he started his career and played for from 2007-13.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Yankees as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve won their last four games as road favorites, while the Twins are 3-12 in their last 14 as an underdog.
Free MLB Pick: New York Yankees 

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