The Yankees seem to have righted their ship, with four wins in their last five games, and this handicapper hopes they continue along that course when they take on the Twins again Tuesday night.
Twins-Yankees Tuesday Odds
As of this writing the best price we could find on New York and CC Sabathia was the -149 offered at BetOnline, while Minnesota and Mike Pelfrey were getting +145 at Bovada. Also, most books listed a total on tonight's game at 8.5 runs, with a few nines out there, too.
New York took the opener of this series Monday night 8-7 in 10 innings, with help from five RBI from Brian McCann and a game-tying home run from Carlos Beltran. So the Yanks have won three of their last four games, while Minnesota has lost three of its last five contests.
We split two MLB picks on Monday's game, hitting with the OVER but missing with a play on New York against the run line.
So the Yanks, at 65-52, now lead the AL East by a game over second-place Toronto.
Meanwhile, at 59-59 the Twins now trail Baltimore by 2.5 games in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
The Yanks have now taken three of four games from the Twinkies this season, and all four of those games have played OVER the totals.
Sabathia (4-9, 5.23), by our tough standards, is just seven-for-22 on quality starts this season, but two for his last two. Last Wednesday he held Cleveland to two runs through six innings, and just before that he held Boston to one run through six innings. But just prior to that he gave up five runs two starts in a row. On the season CC has allowed 155 hits, including 24 dingers, through 129 innings, walked 30 and struck out 107.
New York is 10-12 in Sabby's starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 12-10 margin.
Sabathia has started once already this season against Minnesota, giving up five runs and six hits, including a pair of homers, in 5 2/3 innings of a game the Yanks eventually won 8-5 back in July.
Pelfrey (6-7, 3.70) is 11-for-22 on quality starts, and two for his last three. Last Wednesday he held Texas to one run and four hits through seven innings, a solid recovery effort after giving up seven runs – four earned – in less than four innings against Cleveland five days previous. For the season Pelfrey has allowed more hits, 143, than innings pitched, 129, and his K/BB sits at a very mediocre 62/38.
The Twins are 12-10 in Pelfrey's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER 11-9.
This will be Pelfrey's first start against the Pinstripes since 2011, when he was with the Mets.
Tuesday's Batting Splits
Minnesota ranks 16th in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .256 team batting average, and 19th with a .311 team on-base percentage.
New York, on the other hand, ranks 16th against right-handed pitching with a .252 team average and 13th with a .318 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium this season are 26-24 on the OVERS, averaging 9.3 runs per, fourth-most among all ML ballparks.
New York 1B Mark Teixeira left Monday's game with a sore leg, and his status for Tuesday is uncertain.
Twins-Yankees Tuesday Free Picks
We'll call the pitching match-up a wash, but New York owns edges with the sticks and in the bullpen. So we'll take the Yanks again today. Also, these teams have produced four OVERS in four meetings this season, and we don't see any reason to bet against that trend.
MLB Picks: New York and OVER 8.5 runs (-110) at 5Dimes