The New York Yankees find themselves in a familiar position as they head into Tuesday. They’re 3 games up in the wildcard race, but 2.5 back of the Red Sox for the American League East. It’s been that way for weeks now, without much change in either direction. The Yankees are still within striking distance of the Red Sox, though, a team they must catch to get out of the play-in game.
Anything can happen in a one-game scenario against what should be a decent team, whoever gets the final wildcard. Behind the Yanks things get a little murkier. While the Yankees have been consistent, nothing of the sort is taking place for the final wildcard. There have been several changes, along with seven teams 3 games of one another.
The Twins and Yankees would play if the postseason began today, but the Angels are just 0.5 back of the Twins for that spot. A little further back is the Yankees’ opponent today, the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s are 1.5 back of the Twins and have an important month ahead of them. That includes tonight against the Yankees, an equally important matchup for both of these clubs.
The Yanks and Orioles played to a 7-4 final in favor of the Yankees yesterday. They took care of the Red Sox for a 9-2 final on Sunday, so the offense has been swinging the bats well. The Yankees were able to take 2 of 3 off the Red Sox over the weekend, a much needed series for them if they want to catch up in the AL East.
Conversely, the Orioles won seven in a row before going 2-3 in their last five games. They need more of that mojo from the winning streak going forward, however, it’s difficult to keep it up. So, despite winning seven straight, the Orioles are still on the outside and need to find a way to keep it going. Baltimore takes on a resurging CC Sabathia on the hill tonight for the Yankees. The O’s will counter with Jeremy Hellickson. Get the free pick below.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles Pick
CC Sabathia (11-5, 3.71 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (8-8, 5.15 ERA)
Sabathia has somehow reverted to fine form and looking like a pitcher who can pitch for another few years. His career appeared done for in 2014, but he’s chipped away at his ERA, improving it in each ensuing season. His ERA went from 5.28 in 2014 to a 4.73, 3.91, and now he comes into this evening with a 3.71 ERA. Sabathia was strong against a couple of capable offenses, allowing just 1 run each against the Mariners and Red Sox. His ERA stands at 1.89 in his last three outings.
Sabathia has also been hitting his mark on the road, with a record of 7-3 and 2.81 ERA. His career has been on the up, while Hellickson has been watching his plummet. If there’s a guy the Orioles would rather not see on the hump in a postseason race, it’d be Hellickson. In 2014 it looked like he had a promising career ahead of him, finishing with a 3.10 ERA with the Rays. All downhill from there, and completely hitting a wall in 2017. Hellickson owns a 5.15 ERA, including a 8.82 ERA in his last three starts. Since joining the Orioles in late July, he’s posted a 6.55 as a member of the Orioles. Hellickson has been been awful at home with a 7.71 ERA at Camden Yards. The price in this game looks a bit short to me. I like the Yankees for this MLB pick on Tuesday.
PICK: YANKEES (-120)