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Yankees vs. Orioles MLB Odds & Picks: Back Baltimore as Heavy Underdogs in Opener (Monday, April 26)

Yankees vs. Orioles MLB Odds & Picks: Back Baltimore as Heavy Underdogs in Opener (Monday, April 26) article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Harvey.

  • The Orioles enter Monday night's game against the Yankees as heavy underdogs.
  • Matt Harvey is starting the series opener for Baltimore, but there's reason to believe the O's can pull off an upset.
  • Kevin Davis breaks down the betting value in this AL East matchup.

Yankees vs. Orioles Odds

Yankees Odds -186
Orioles Odds +160
Over/Under 9
Time Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings

With more than one-eighth of the 2021 season played, the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees are tied for last place in the American League East.

The season is still young, though. In the long run, the Yankees should end the season with a winning record and possibly make the playoffs. The Orioles, on the other hand, should end up with a losing record like they usually do.

Even though I am bearish on Baltimore, Monday night’s matchup against New York is a good spot for it. The Yankees are relying on a promising 21-year-old rookie in Deivi García on the mound. García does not have the major-league experience to merit making the Bronx Bombers heavy favorites.

Let’s break down the betting value on Monday night at Camden Yards.

New York Yankees

The best reason to bet against the Yankees on Monday is that as a heavy favorite they must rely on a young rookie starting pitcher. Last year, García started in six games for the Yankees compiling a 3-2 record, 4.98 ERA and 4.63 xFIP. While García did not do as poorly as most rookies, if he performs at that level again this season then the Yankees should not be heavy favorites when he starts.

Before the season started, Baseball America rated García as the No. 55 best prospect. In Baseball Prospectus’ prospect ratings, García was rated No. 24 in 2020, and No. 17 in 2021. Even when you use Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections, my model rates García for this season as the Yankees’ worst starting pitcher. Based on the performances of other New York starters this season, the Yankees should worry about García on Monday night.

If New York wins this series opener, it will likely because of its lineup, which if it performs up to its potential should generate 12.9% more runs than the typical MLB batting order, according to my model. Currently, the Yanks are averaging only 3.6 runs per game, which is fourth lowest in the league.

Baltimore Orioles

The starting pitcher for the Orioles on Monday night is Matt Harvey. Based on his recent performance before this season, Harvey would have been a pitcher that you would automatically bet against. Last season, he had a 11.57 ERA in only 11 2/3 innings. In 2019, his ERA was 7.09 over 59 2/3 innings.

This season, Harvey appears to be on the same track as in four starts he has a 5.12 ERA. However, he also has a 3.96 xFIP, which suggests he has been a decent pitcher when you adjust for stadium effects and fielding.

In the past, one of Harvey’s weaknesses has been his high walk rate. In 2020 he walked 3.86 batters per nine innings, and in 2019 he walked 4.37 per nine. This season, that number is down to 1.4. If Harvey can give the Orioles five innings of decent pitching, they’ll be in a great position to beat the Yankees.

The other vulnerability for the O’s is their lineup, which is averaging 3.7 runs per game, the sixth worst in the league. However, Baltimore has underperformed this season. My model projects the Orioles to average 3.96 runs in a typical game. If Trey Mancini and Austin Hays can perform up to their expectations, the Orioles should produce more runs than they are at the moment.

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Yankees-Orioles Pick

The Yankees are the better team, but with a 162-game season, underdogs frequently win. García starting this game gives Baltimore a great chance of winning.

The = Orioles have opened at +162 and are +160 on DraftKings. I would play them up to +155.

Pick: Baltimore Orioles Moneyline (+160) (play down to +155)

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