New York lost first place in the AL East last Friday, but regained it over the weekend. Our MLB betting expert looks for the Yanks to keep it up when they open a 3-game series with Minnesota tonight.
Twins-Yankees Monday Odds
As of this writing it looked like New York was making a pitching change, from CC Sabathia to rookie righty Bryan Mitchell. Going against Minnesota with Kyle Gibson, the Yanks could be found giving -155 at Youwager, while the Twins were getting +155 at 5Dimes.
Also, BookMaker was chalking New York at -210 to win this series, with the Twinkies getting +180.
New York just took two of three games at home from Toronto over the weekend, missing the sweep by losing Sunday 3-1. But prior to that the Yankees had lost two series in a row, and five games in a row.
At 64-52 New York, after briefly relinquishing the lead in the AL East, now leads the division by a half-game over the second-place Blue Jays.
Minnesota, meanwhile, just took two of three games at home from Cleveland, winning Sunday 4-2. So after a rough stretch the Twins have won two series in a row, and four of their last six games.
At 59-58 Minnesota trails first-place Kansas City by 12 games in the AL Central, but only sits a game and a half back of Baltimore in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
This is the second meeting between these teams this season; three weeks ago the Yanks took two of three games at Target Field, with all three games playing OVER.
Monday's Mound Match-Up
Mitchell (0-1, 3.72) apparently will be making his second start of this season, to go along with eight appearances in relief. Most recently, six days ago, Mitchell tossed three innings of shutout relief against Cleveland, walking two while whiffing five, so in three appearances since the All-Star break he's allowed five earned runs through 10 innings. On the season Mitchell has given up 20 hits through 19 innings, walked six and struck out 20.
In his only start of this season, back on Aug. 1, Mitchell gave up four runs in four innings in an 8-2 loss to the White Sox.
This will be Mitchell's first-ever start against Minnesota.
Gibson (8-9, 3.75) is 12-for-23 on quality starts this season, running hot/cold as of late. Three starts ago he held Seattle to two runs through seven innings; next time out, though, he got knocked around by Toronto for eight runs in less than five innings; but last time out, last Tuesday, he tamed Texas to two runs through six frames. For the season Gibson has allowed 140 hits through 142 innings, with a 103/45 K/BB ratio.
The Twins are 12-11 in Gibson's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER by a 12-8 margin.
In four career starts against the Yankees, most recently a poor outing one month ago, Gibson has been clipped for 21 ER through just 17 2/3 innings; Minnesota lost three of those games, and all four games played OVER.
Monday's Batting Splits
Minnesota ranks 25th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .244 team batting average, and 28th with a pedestrian .297 team on-base percentage.
New York ranks 15th against righties with a .253 average and 13th with a .318 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium this season are 25-24 on the OVERS, averaging 9.3 runs per, fourth-most among all ML ballparks.
Twins-Yankees Monday Free Picks
We'll call the pitching match-up a wash, mainly because while we might give Gibson the edge, his track record against New York is terrible. So with the Yanks owning advantages with the sticks and in the bullpen, we'll take 'em, with a MLB pick on the run line. Also, these teams produced three OVERS three weeks ago, so we'll play along with that trend.