Twins vs. Yankees Odds, Preview, Prediction: Can Minnesota’s Lineup Compete With Gerrit Cole? (Saturday, August 21)
Adam Hunger/Getty Images. Pictured: Gerrit Cole
Twins vs. Yankees Odds
|Time||1:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings.|
The New York Yankees are surging, and have an 81% chance of making the playoffs as of the beginning of the day Friday. The Twins are on the different side of that coin. They sit 17 games back in the American League Central and have their eyes firmly planted on next season.
Minnesota sends Kenta Maeda to the mound for Saturday’s game against Gerrit Cole. Will the Twins’ above-average offense be able to propel them into the win category against one of the league’s most prolific arms?
Maeda Flies Under The Radar For Minnesota
The Twins are an interesting team. They had several early season woes, one of which being the performance of Maeda. His 4.41 ERA and above-average peripherals, like an 87.7% average exit velocity allowed and a chase rate in the 91st percentile, indicate he has had some pretty poor luck this season. His xERA remains under 4.00, so this is true.
Since the start of June, Maeda has more or less returned to form outside of one blow-up against Cincinnati. While the Twins’ season went in the tank thanks, in part, to Maeda’s lack of success early in the season, those struggles also help him fly under the radar as an edge in this particular matchup.
The Twins’ bullpen has given their fans a series of headaches this year, but they, like Maeda have experienced some collective bad luck this season. The unit has a 4.73 combined ERA and 4.28 xFIP, which is not necessarily strong but it is not horrendous, either.
Taylor Rogers, Luke Farrell and Derek Law are sidelined. That hurts, especially on the closing end, because Rogers is the most valuable contributor to the bullpen. Caleb Thielbar and Álex Colomé have filled in while the other arms have been injured. They will need a bit of help with Maeda going deep into this game, but at least they have a couple of contributors in the back-end to keep them stable.
Minnesota has a 102 wRC+ since the beginning of August, so they are still above average, even after trading Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays. Jorge Polanco has carried the torch with his torrid 172 wRC+ against righties. Luis Arráez has been in a similar position, but they do have six consistent bats in the lineup hitting above the 100 wRC+ mark against right-handers this month. They are shockingly solid.
Yankees Have Been On Fire Of Late
The storyline lately has been the New York Yankees and their last month of baseball. They are on fire, and Cole on the mound only helps. He has a 2.92 xERA on the season, but has been underwhelming (in the lower half of the league) in allowed exit velocity and hard-hit percentage. This is something to be cognizant of with him against the Twins.
It does not seem to be of much concern to the Yankees, who have had the best bullpen this month. Jonathan Loáisiga has been phenomenal. Albert Abreu and Wandy Peralta have done some damage, as well. Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton have been the weaker links, but are generally above-average arms who New York shouldn’t feel reason to be worried about long-term. In all, this is one of the better units in baseball.
The Yankees’ lineup has been above-average in August with a 109 wRC+. Anthony Rizzo has struggled since his move to the Bronx Bombers, but Joey Gallo seems to be holding his own. The re-emergence of DJ LeMahieu has helped immensely. There simply are not too many holes in this lineup.
The Yankees have the edge in the bullpen as well as with the bats, but only slightly in the latter category. Both lineups can hit, and Minnesota should be able to hold themselves in this game. Getting plus money on the spread helps gives us value on Minnesota with the underrated Maeda against Cole.
Take the Twins +1.5 (+110) and play to -120. They should be able to keep this close, as long as Maeda can have a strong outing.
Pick: Minnesota Twins +1.5 (+110), play to -120