New York was hot; now Baltimore is. Do we back the Orioles on our free MLB picks for the middle game of this AL East series Saturday night? Or can the Yankees regain a little of what they had going earlier this week?
Yanks-Os Saturday Betting Odds
In the early betting the best line we could find on New York and CC Sabathia was the -105 offered at WagerWeb, while BookMaker was “giving” Baltimore and Bud Norris -101. And most books posted the OVER/UNDER on today's game at 8.5 runs.
Baltimore took the opener of this series Friday night 11-3, stretching its current winning streak to five games. The O's rapped out 16 hits, including a couple of homers, and the bullpen tossed four scoreless innings.
New York had won seven games in a row, but has lost its last two.
At 33-27 the Yankees lead the AL East by one game over second-place Tampa, while at 30-30 the Orioles have pulled to within three games of New York.
These teams have split eight games so far this season, with the totals going 4-2-2.
Saturday's Starting Pitchers
Norris (2-4, 8.63), by our tough accounting, is only one-for-seven on quality starts this season. Last Sunday he held Cleveland to one run but only pitched five innings, just having missed a month due to an illness. For the season Norris has allowed 42 hits and 31 runs through 32 1/3 innings; Baltimore is 3-4 in Norris' starts, with the totals skewing OVER by a 5-1 margin.
Since the beginning of last season Norris has started six times against the Yankees, allowing 14 runs through 31 1/3 innings; Baltimore won five of those games.
Sabathia (3-7, 5.25) is five-for-12 on quality starts this season, and only one for his last four. Last Sunday he held the Angels to two runs through six innings, but in his three starts previous to that he gave up 13 runs through 14 innings. On the season Sabby has allowed 88 hits, including 12 homers, in 72 innings. The Yankees are only 5-7 in his starts.
Sabathia has started once this season against the Orioles, giving up four runs through seven innings of a 4-3 New York defeat back in April.
Saturday's Batting Splits
New York ranks 13th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .316 team OBP.
Baltimore ranks 23th this season against left-handed pitching with a .308 OBP.
New York closer Andrew Miller (17 saves in 17 chances this season) is on the DL with a sore arm, as is lead-off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury.
Yanks-O's Saturday Free Picks
We give Sabathia a short edge in the pitching match-up, but New York is a bit shorthanded at the moment. How the back end of the bullpen will hold up without Miller is uncertain. We'll take the Orioles on the side. Also, we can see this game getting to 5-4, so we'll go with the OVER for our free MLB picks.