Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Wednesday's Best Bet
Wednesday MLB Betting Preview (8:10 p.m. ET)
New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins
It was a wild one on Tuesday night between the Yankees and Twins, as the two teams traded leads back and forth in the late innings, before the Yankees prevailed in extra innings, in large part to a monster offensive day by Didi Gregorius. The way that those final few innings played out had to be excruciating for anyone on either side of those money lines – 'over' bettors just wanted it to end to collect their cash – but that result can have a lasting impact on both teams as well.
For the Twins, it was a crushing loss in more ways then one and it will be interesting to see how they react. Not only did they blow a six-run lead late to fall behind in the bottom of the 8th, but to retake the lead in that 8th inning, only to blow it again in the 9th, and then manage just a single run in the 9th to tie the game after loading the bases with nobody out was horrible. Had the result ended up going their way, all of that would be forgotten, but it didn't work out that way, and with the Indians continuously biting at their heels in the AL Central standings, blowing the chance (multiple times) to go another game up on Cleveland adds more bitterness to the result.
For the Yankees, division rivals aren't their biggest concern at the moment with a 10-game lead in the AL East, but to win in that fashion against a team many think they could end up seeing in October has to be a huge confidence boost. I'm not even sure this Twins team will make it to October (that's a conversation for another day), but without question the Yankees have to feel like they can build some great momentum off that comeback victory last night, and to use some tennis terminology, they've got to go out and “consolidate the break” by going out and winning tonight to take this series.
MLB Odds: New York (-120) vs Minnesota (+100); Total set at 11
The Yankees send out J.A Happ to the hill this evening, and he has shown some improvement over his last few starts. New York is 2-1 SU in his last three outings, but they are also 7-3 SU in his last 10 starts, as he's found ways to give the Yankees five solid innings of work in most of those starts before turning it over to their bullpen. He did get roughed up in a previous start vs Minnesota this year (7-3 loss) thanks to two long balls leaving the yard, but he's kept the ball in the park better lately (one HR allowed in last three starts), and that's a big ingredient needed for any starter to knock off the HR-reliant Minnesota Twins.
Minnesota counters with Jake Odorizzi on the hill, as they are 7-3 SU in his last 10 starts as well. All three of those losses have come in his last five starts though, as much of the wins before that span did come against worse competition and were heavily aided by the Twins bats. Minnesota has scored 5 or more runs for Odorizzi in seven of his last 10 starts, as they've always seemed to provide plenty of support for him (5.5 runs/game) all season.
But run support like that is never shy about drying up in a hurry, and given the negative situation the Twins find themselves in in terms of trying to rebound off that gut-wrenching loss, this could be a prime spot to see the Twins bats fail to show up. Odorizzi hasn't exactly been at his best lately either – 6.08 ERA over last three starts compared to his 3.18 ERA on the year – and with the depth the Yankees lineup has already, the confidence they gained from last night's comeback is another strike against Odorizzi and the Twins this evening.
Happ is definitely capable of getting rocked around by the Twins tonight, as they are the best team in all of baseball hitting southpaws in terms of team average (.290), and like I mentioned before, they roughed Happ up pretty well in New York earlier this year. But again, this is a situational spot where it's easy to figure that Minnesota may not be at their best given how last night went down, and they were already a team I had pegged as one with a good chance to regress in the 2nd half of the year. Put all that together and it's got to be a spot where we back the Yankees tonight.
New York is on a 7-1 SU run the last eight times Happ's started out on the road, 8-1 SU the last nine times he's had just four days off between starts, and as a team they are on a 27-9 SU run against winning foes. Minnesota's great team batting average against lefties hasn't translated into many wins of late – 1-4 SU in last five vs southpaws – and while they were a favorite for most to back when coming off a loss in April, May, and June, that statistical anomaly has come back down to earth since the All-Star break as when they've lost, they've lost at least two in a row.
So give me the Yankees tonight as their 10-game lead in the AL East mitigates lookahead concerns with their series in Boston starting tomorrow, and it's probably going to take a game to two for Minnesota to fully recover from how Tuesday went down. Road games against the White Sox and Marlins on deck for the Twins should provide the right spots to get things centered again for the Twins, as they fall yet again tonight.
Best Bet: New York Yankees ML