Value will be hard to come by when it comes to MLB betting on Wednesday night, but one solid spot to look could be an AL East clash between the rival Yankees and Orioles. The two sides meet up on Wednesday to close out an intense three-game series at Camden Yards, where these two rivals have each nabbed a win. We’ll be heading into a rubber match after Baltimore squeaked out a tight 3-2 win on Memorial Day, followed by a big 8-3 victory by the Yanks on Tuesday night.
It’s always tough to gauge rivalries, which could force MLB bettors away from looking at this game in terms of who will win. Both teams will understandably be hoping to bring their A game in this one, as the Yanks are holding onto first place in the division (30-19), but aren’t that far ahead of Baltimore (3rd, 26-24). A big win here could easily help the Orioles get back on track, which could be something they sorely need as they work their way through a brutal stretch (2-8 over their last 10 games).
New York hasn’t had it nearly as bad, as they’ve remained a solid 6-4 over their last 10 games and have been getting some serious power in some surprising places. Both Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday rounded the bases twice each last night, while Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez continue to keep opposing pitchers on their heels. The big question, of course, is how New York’s explosive offense factors into your MLB betting strategy for this game tonight:
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles Pick
Masahiro Tanaka (5-4, 5.86 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (2-4, 6.17 ERA)
We get a matchup that could seriously go either way tonight. Both Tanaka and Gausman are rounding into their old forms, with Tanaka fresh off of a gem against the Oakland Athletics, where he allowed just five hits and one run in seven frames of work, while racking up an astonishing 13 strikeouts. It was quite the bounce back performance for the 28-year old righty, as Tanaka had been experiecing a very up and down 2017 campaign.
The trick is whether we buy into this being the real Tanaka, or we raise our eyebrows at what could easily be a fluky effort. Oakland isn’t necessarily a world-beater offense and Tanaka hadn’t topped even six Ks in any of his previous nine starts on the year. He’d also gotten slapped around routinely to that point in 2017, posting eight contests with 5+ hits allowed and seven where he gave up three or more runs.
Translation: we find it difficult to trust Masahiro Tanaka.
Sure, he could be building confidence after that insane gem, or he could revert to what we’ve been seeing all year and be the guy that’s giving up way too much contact. On the road against an Orioles team that brings plenty of power to the table, that might not be a bet we want to toy with. It gets worse, too. Tanaka wasn’t amazing against the Orioles earlier this year (6 hits, 3 runs) and has struggled specifically on the road (6.41 ERA outside of Yankee Stadium).
Tanaka does have an elite offense backing him, so taking the Yankees isn’t a big reach. New York just dropped 8 runs on Chris Tillman in a win last night and now get Kevin Gausman, who like Tanaka has not been able to replicate his 2016 success for much of the new year. Gausman has found a way to control the game in his last two outings (4 total runs allowed), but he’s still giving up loads of contact (18 hits given up in this two games) and isn’t making batters miss enough.
Hard contact in a hitter’s park against a Yankees offense that ranks 5th in home runs and 2nd in batting average versus righties? Yeah, not ideal.
None of this paints a great picture for either side, however, and with -110 Moneylines at Bovada for both teams, you’re not getting any wiggle room. That undoubtedly leads us down one path: targeting the Over and never looking back. These two teams combined to do just that last night and with the contact being allowed, a hitter’s park and two explosive offenses all twisting together, it’s really the only bet we love in this game.
Pick: Over 9 (-120)