What is going on in San Francisco right now? The Giants just won’t lose. The Giants are now 16-3 in the month of July as they picked up yet another dramatic late inning win last night against the Cubs. It was the fourth walk-off win for the G-Men in just over a week’s time, and this team is locked in right now. I backed them yesterday as home underdogs, knowing that they would find a way to win the game, and they took care of business and we cashed another ticket.
The big question in San Francisco is whether or not they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline this season. Three weeks ago, they were locks to be selling as many of their best players were rumored to be on the move. But after this hot streak that has seen them dig out of the cellar in the NL West and play themselves right into the wild card chase in the NL, nobody really knows what they are going to do.
But I know what I am going to do, and that is keep hammering on the Giants! I have been backing them a lot recently, and just like they were last night, they are usually underdogs despite being the hottest team in the game.
If you are going to give me dog money on a team that has won north of 80% of their games in the last three weeks, I am likely to take it blind. This team has all kinds of swagger, and they are refusing to lose. Until that cools down, I am going to be looking for ways to back them profitably. For today’s pick, we head to Minnesota where the Twins host the Yankees.
This series between the Yankee and the Twins has sure been a great one so far! Both of the games have been high scoring and exciting back and forth affairs. These teams know there is a very good chance they match up in the playoffs, and neither team is giving up an inch. The Twins took game one, and the Yankees battled back to tie the series up last night. Both teams would love a series win tonight.
For the Yankees, they are finally starting to get healthy, and they have the best record in the American League. They have hit the ground running post-All-Star break as they are 8-4 and they have built a ten-game lead over the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East Division.
The Twins, on the other hand, find themselves in a rare slump. After having the best record in the league for much of the season, they have lost six out of their last nine games, and their lead in the AL Central, once as high as fifteen games, is down to just three games over the Cleveland Indians. The Twins blew a huge lead last night and need to find a way to finish this series off on a high note.
Starting for the Twins is Jake Odorizzi (11-4 3.18 ERA), and for the Yankees, it is J.A. Happ (8-5 4.86 ERA). The game total over-under is set at eleven runs. The Yankees are small -120 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM PST from Target Field in Minnesota.
What an absolutely crazy game these two teams played last night. The Yankees jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, only to see Minnesota strike back with eight runs of their own. Not to be outdone, the Bronx Bombers scored ten more runs, and this game hit extra innings tied up at twelve runs apiece. The Yankees scored a deuce in the top of the tenth, and after an insane diving catch by Aaron Hicks with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth, snuck out of Target Field with the victory. The teams combined for twenty-six runs on thirty-five hits. And both teams used and abused their bullpens as a total of fourteen pitchers were used last night.
The Twins are hoping that Jake Odorizzi can do a better job at slowing this Yankees team down tonight and pick up his twelfth win along the way. Odorizzi started his season lights out as at one point he was 9-2 with an ERA of just 1.92. But since then, he has struggled some. In his last six starts, he has pitched a combined thirty-three and two-thirds of an inning pitched and has allowed twenty-one runs. To put that in perspective, Odorizzi had only allowed sixteen runs in his first thirteen starts before this recent skid. The Yankees are not a team you want to face when you aren’t at your best, and it wouldn’t at all shock me to see Odorizzi get roughed up tonight.
JA Happ has been the opposite of Odorizzi as he started out slow but has pitched well recently. In July, Happ has an ERA of just 2.87 in three starts. Happ has never been the guy that is going to go out and completely shut you down, and now at thirty-six year’s old is more of an innings eater for this Yankees team. But he has done a decent job of giving this team a chance to win games.
And what more can you really ask for from this guy at this point? Despite an ERA of nearly five runs, the highest he has posted in nearly a decade, the Yankees find a way to win with Happ on the mound. After losing two out of his first three starts on the year, the Yankees have won twelve of his last sixteen starts.
When I first glanced at this number, I thought to myself, wow, I can get the Twins as home underdogs? I should jump all over that. But when I took a closer look, I changed my mind. Yeah, Odorizzi is probably the better side of the starting pitching matchup, but starters haven’t found ways to stay in the game in this series as they have pitched just sixteen and two-thirds of the total thirty-eight innings. I expect the same tonight as I don’t think either of these guys will still be in the game when the sixth inning comes around.
And even though the Twins have the best offensive stats in the game right now, they are first in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, and second in runs scored, I think this Yankees offense is actually better. You have to remember, the Yankees played without many of their best hitters for long stretches of the season, and while they are not all back on the field yet, they are close to being completely healthy, and once they are, this lineup is going to be the class of the league.
I see another back and forth game where runs are easy to come by. If I can get the Yankees at a reasonable price in what should be a shootout, I am going to take it every time. And in a game where both bullpens are likely to get a lot of work, you have to like the Yankees bullpen as they are elite. Whereas the Twins bullpen is their weakest link right now. Give me the New York Yankees in what should be another slobber knocker of a game tonight in Minnesota!