The New York Yankees have been regarded as one of the best teams in baseball for most of 2017, but lately they’ve been letting that title slip through their grasp. The Yanks will try to turn things around on Tuesday, as they engage in game two of their series with the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
New York stole a tight 6-5 win on the road on Monday night to get the ball rolling in this series, but that’s been a mere flash of their ability in the midst of an ugly 3-7 stretch over their last 10 games. Once the dominant rulers of the AL East, New York is just 0.5 games ahead of the pesky Boston Red Sox and need to keep winning to thwart off their hated rivals. The Yanks could do that tonight against the Sox, who they’re favored to take down.
Chicago doesn’t have as much going for them at the moment, as they sit at the bottom of the AL Central at 32-43. Monday’s loss to the Yankees handed Chicago their fourth straight loss anf the Sox are dealing with a similar 3-7 stretch of their own. The White Sox could push back against the Yankees tonight, as they’ve been at their best (15-16) at their home field and will be backed by top ace, Jose Quintana.
The Yanks haven’t been their dominant selves, but we need to gauge if they can be trusted tonight or not. That, or we need to attack the Total in this matchup. Let’s break this showdown further to see which angle we can attack it on MLB betting sites:
New York Yankees (-137) @ Chicago White Sox (+117) Total: 8
Luis Severino (5-3, 3.30 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (4-8, 4.69 ERA)
Right off the bat, we can look at this thing three different ways; this feels like a low Total, Chicago offers us some value as a home underdog and the Yankees are the understandable favorites. The knee-jerk reaction here is to either back the Yanks as they start to turn things around or chase the Over.
How do we get there, though? Luis Severino has struggled in two straight starts (12 hits, 9 runs allowed), but he has major K upside and has actually sported a crips 2.70 ERA on the road this year. He obviously enjoys a positive park shift away from Yankee Stadium, while he also gets a Chicago lineup that is not consistently scary. The White Sox do have a little pop, but they typically put up their best numbers against left-handed pitching. Chicago will be facing a dangerous righty here and their numbers (26th in HR, 22nd in batting average) versus right-handed pitching clearly leave a lot to be desired.
I don’t find it difficult at all to get behind Severino, who has proven to be better on the road and has a favorable matchup on paper. The White Sox post only middling strikeout numbers against righties, too, so there is plenty of upside here for New York’s defense.
On the other side we have Quintana, who has been difficult to figure out thus far in 2017. He certainly has flashed elite form lately, as he blanked the Twins in his most recent start and has allowed just five total runs in his last three trips to the mound. The problem with Quintana is layered, however. He’s been quite erratic, as he can go from being unhittable to allowing a ton of contact, while he can make batters miss at an elite rate and then struggle to get even 3 Ks in a game. He’s endured most of his issues at home, where he’s handed in a regrettable 5.94 ERA to go with a 1-4 record.
To make matters worse, Quintana has quite the challenge in keeping balls in front of him against a loaded New York offense. The Yanks haven’t been quite themselves lately, but Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez still fuel a powerful offense that can take anyone deep. The silver lining for Quintana is the Yanks have seen their numbers against southpaws dip over the past couple of months and are now just 14th in homers against lefties and 20th in batting average.
What does this all mean? Probably that we’re looking at a classic wash. Chicago has a mild edge at home, Quintana has good splits favoring him and so does Severino. I’m not in love with targeting the Total here. Both pitchers could deal gems, while the Yankees could score 9 runs all on their own. It’s never fun to get into a bet wishy-washy, so instead I’d rather just back the Yanks. This isn’t as easy of a bet as it sounds, as New York has not been stable and will be on the road against a tough pitcher. That being said, the pitching could be a wash and New York has the more potent offense. We’ll take the Yanks in this one.