Yankees at Twins – Free Pick September 24

New York Yankees -167 vs. Minnesota Twins +160 (Total: 9)

Andy Pettitte vs. Liam Hendricks

The Yankees enter tonight’s game tied for first place in the American League East and engaged in a ten-game sprint with the surprising and late-game dramatic penchant Orioles.  Their three-game set with the Twins would seem to be one they should win, however Baltimore has a similar three game series, at home nonetheless, against the equally hapless Toronto Blue Jays.

I expect both will play with a playoff intensity this week, despite the seemingly lesser foes.  That starts with the comeback of Andy Pettitte.  The forty year old lefty looked good through five innings in his last outing, and I expect the Yankees to try to stretch him out a little more and get him ready to be their pivotal #3 starter in the postseason.

The Yankees have been handling their business lately, especially against teams they are supposed to be.  Hey are 7-1 in their last eight games as a favorite and have won seven of ten against the Twins.  To make matters even more convincing for the Yankee side is the fact that the Twins are just 1-6 in their last seven games as an underdog of +150 to +200.  They are just 1-5 in their last six games against a left handed starter (which Pettitte is) and 0-6 in their last six games as an underdog overall.

The biggest question tonight is not whether to wager on the Yankees, but whether or not to ramp it up and get better odds on the -1.5 runline.  The Yankees have won by two or more runs in five of their last seven wins over Minnesota, and also have a favorable pitching matchup.

The Twins will send Liam Hendricks to the hill, toting his 1-7 record and 5.88 ERA with him.  In his last three starts he has been a little better, but still posted an ERA over 5.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.  it is hard to see him shutting down the vaunted Yankee offense tonight enough to earn a win or even keep it close for that matter.

The Yankees are on a roll, smelling the post-season finish line, as well as finally getting healthy.  They still have pitching questions, but with Ichiro rechanneling some of the Ichiro of old (14 of 20 before being moved up to number two in the order yesterday), the offense should be enough to carry them.  I like the Yankees tonight, and I think they win by several runs.

Free Pick:  New York Yankees to WIN -167 & Yankees -1.5 (-115)