Yankees vs. Twins: Judge Not

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Yankees vs. Twins: Judge Not
Josh Donaldson #20 of the Minnesota Twins is out at second base. David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

The Minnesota Twins are the obvious value MLB pick for Thursday’s game versus Aaron Judge and the slumping New York Yankees.

New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins

Thursday, June 10, 2021 – 08:10 PM EDT at Target Field

Does it ever make sense to put the New York Yankees in your MLB picks? Sometimes, maybe. But they were 31-29 and 7.08 units in the red heading into Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, and the top sportsbooks we’re not too keen on picking them for Thursday’s series finale. Yes, the Twins were doing even worse at 24-35 and minus-16.43 units, making them the least profitable team in the American League. But the power of analytics compels us to ride with Minnesota.

Five Long Years

We’re still waiting at press time for one of our listed online sportsbooks to post the MLB odds for Thursday’s matchup, but the Twins have opened as +125 home dogs overseas. That’s a bargain, folks. FiveThirtyEight project Minnesota to win this contest 53 percent of the time, for a fair moneyline of – 113. Good to see the Yankees still pulling in way too much public money, and the small-market Twins retaining their value despite (or perhaps because of) all those losses.

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In case you’re new to betting on baseball, let’s take a look at New York’s recent history and see how they’ve fared against the MLB lines. When we talk about being up or down a certain number of units, we’re talking about where you’d be after betting a single unit on the Yankees for each of their regular-season games.

The Envelope

  • 2020: 33-27, minus-7.29 units
  • 2019: 103-59, plus-11.71
  • 2018: 100-62, minus-1.76
  • 2017: 91-71, plus-0.69
  • 2016: 84-78, plus-0.70

Well, then. If you look at the longer term, the Yankees actually made a profit over the previous five seasons – but it’s all gone now after their slow start to the 2021 campaign. And almost all that profit was concentrated in their amazing 2019 season. The telling numbers here are from 2018: They won 100 games and still landed in the red.

Tasting and Judgement

We should also point out that 2016 was the debut for Aaron Judge, the latest in a long line of Yankee heroes. Judge went nuclear in 2017, his first full season, winning AL Rookie of the Year and finishing second behind Houston’s Jose Altuve in MVP voting. That may prove to be the peak of Judge’s career. He’s still mashing at .924 OPS, but that’s well below his near-Ruthian 1.049 OPS from 2017. Until the Yankees find their next hero and start their next surge, there’s no incentive for us to buy in.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees swings at a pitch . Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

The Twins, on the other hand, are a solid “buy low” candidate at this point. We’d feel more comfortable if J.A. Happ (4.78 FIP) weren’t pitching Thursday, but he’s a proven commodity compared to New York’s unofficial projected starter, Michael King (4.17 ERA), a long reliever thrust into the rotation by the season-ending injury to Corey Kluber. The Yankees have lost both of King’s starts thus far; let’s see if they make it three in a row, and may the sphere be with you.

MLB Pick: Minnesota Twins +118 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.