8:10 p.m. ET – Yankees (-135 ML) at Twins O/U: 11
The 33-29 Yankees look to finish off a three-game sweep in the Twin Cities against the 24-37 Twins on Thursday night. New York has responded nicely after suffering a three-game sweep at the hands of the Red Sox over the weekend with two wins to open its series against Minnesota. The Twins have been outscored 17-10 in the first two games of the series, including a 9-6 loss on Wednesday night. Giancarlo Stanton led the way for the Bronx Bombers, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI. Gerrit Cole once again validated his role as the ace of the starting rotation, earning the win after allowing two runs in six innings of work with nine strikeouts.
About the Yankees
New York currently sits in fourth place in the American League East, 5.5 games behind the first-place Rays. The offense averages 3.9 runs per game this season, the eighth-fewest runs per game in baseball. The Yankees are led by right fielder Aaron Judge, who leads the team in each major category.
Judge is hitting .293 with 15 home runs and 35 RBI. Stanton has returned to the lineup and is beginning to heat up, too, batting .318 over his past seven games. Third baseman Gio Urshela is riding an eight-game hitting streak into Thursday night’s contest.
The pitching staff has been great this season, boasting the seventh-lowest ERA in baseball at 3.42. But New York is going to need increased production from shortstop Gleyber Torres, 2020 American League batting champion DJ Lemahieu and Luke Voit to pick it up if they hope to make up some ground in the American League East standings. All three have uncharacteristically struggled this season.
About the Twins
The Twins sit in last place in the American League Central, already 13 games behind the first-place White Sox. Minnesota has gone 3-7 over its last 10 games, batting .249 over that stretch while being outscored by 23 runs. The Twins lineup has been strong this season, averaging 4.6 runs per game, tied for 11th in the majors.
Minnesota’s offense has been led by the power bats, ranking third in home runs this season with 86 home runs. First baseman Miguel Sano leads the team with 12 home runs and 30 RBI, but he is hitting just .178. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been the best hitter in the lineup to this point this season, hitting .279 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI.
The Twins pitching staff owns a 4.87 ERA, the fourth-highest ERA in baseball. The Minnesota bullpen has been especially bad, with the third highest-bullpen ERA in the American League. The pressure is beginning to mount for a Twins team that had high preseason expectations as they near the trade deadline with the potential of becoming sellers on the horizon.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|New York Yankees||-1½ (+110)||-135||O 11 (-105)|
|Minnesota Twins||+1½ (-130)||+115||U 11 (-115)|
The Pitching Matchup
Right-hander Michael King is getting the ball for the Yankees in the series finale. King is 0-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 27.1 innings of work across nine appearances. King has been handed a loss in each of his two starts this season, allowing six runs in 7.2 innings of work in those contests against the Tigers and Red Sox.
Left-hander J.A. Happ is toeing the rubber looking to prevent the sweep at the hands of his former team. Happ is 3-2 with a 5.61 ERA in 51.1 innings pitched across 10 starts in 2021. Happ was roughed up in his last outing against the Royals, allowing five runs in five innings pitched.
The good news for Minnesota is that they have the clear pitching advantage on Thursday night with Happ on the mound against the inexperienced King. Happ is likely going to be dealt before the trade deadline to a contender and he is looking to put together some good starts to show that he is still capable. This Moneyline number is +115 instead of a coin flip because of the history between these two teams. Do not fall for that as a reason to blindly back the Yankees tonight.
*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook