Yankees vs. Orioles Odds, Pick & Preview: New York Hitters Should Thrive Behind Nestor Cortes (April 17)

Yankees vs. Orioles Odds, Pick & Preview: New York Hitters Should Thrive Behind Nestor Cortes (April 17) article feature image

Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Nestor Cortes.

  • Unsurprisingly, the Yankees are big favorites on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles.
  • Nestor Cortes will start for New York opposite lefty Bruce Zimmermann, who won his first outing of the season.
  • Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Yankees vs. Orioles Odds

Yankees Odds-190
Orioles Odds+155
Over/Under8.5 (-120 / +100)
Time1:05 p.m. ET
TVMLB Network
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Yankees have consistently dominated the lowly Orioles in recent years at Camden Yards, and they'll look to claim another series win Sunday. New York will send Nestor Cortes to the mound, who was tremendous on Tuesday in a win over Toronto.

Baltimore will start Bruce Zimmermann, who was amongst the league's worst pitchers in 2021 and struggled badly down the stretch. The southpaw did pitch a surprisingly dominant five innings to open the season against the Brewers. His next challenge is doing that consistently.

Who will come out on top of this lefty-lefty battle?

Yankees Hope Cortes Breaks Out in 2022

The Yankees have shown some cause for concern through nine games, but Cortes first start was a clear reason for optimism. The left-hander pitched very effectively Tuesday vs the Blue Jays, against whom he threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed an xwOBA of just .185.

Having also pitched well this spring, Cortes could be a logical breakout candidate in 2022. He pitched a 3.32 xERA in 2021, with a .282 xwOBA and great walk percentage of 6.7. Cortes' fastball velocity sits at just 91 mph, but he's a deceptive pitcher who can throw batters off in a number of ways with his five-pitch mix.

Cortes has fared well so far in some key matchups vs Baltimore, with Cedric Mullens and Ryan Mountcastle both having gone 0-for-6 in their careers against him, and Anthony Santander just 1-for-7.

New York has not clicked into high-gear yet offensively, but we know that this lineup will be well into the upper third with regards to production.

Facing a pitcher who does not generate a lot of swings-and-misses in Bruce Zimmermann at a park where they have fared very well, I think we will see them be aggressive.

It's possible we see some of the Yankees' heavy hitters sit, so watch intently in the morning to make sure the Bronx Bombers' biggest bats are in the lineup.

Can Zimmermann Contain the Yankees Bats?

As expected, the Orioles' batting order has looked far from dominant to start the season. Even with a ridiculous start from Santander, the Orioles still hold a .277 wOBA with 77 wRC+.

Baltimore has struggled over a small sample against Cortes, and it's reasonable to think Baltimore will need Zimmermann to find a very strong start Sunday to get a win here.

Zimmermann was strong in his first outing of the season against the Brewers, allowing no earned runs with a QOPA of 4.36. However, he was roughed up in spring training, and struggled badly at the end of last season.

In 2021, Zimmermann pitched to an xERA of 6.39, with a xWOBA of 378. He pitches to a low chase rate and has a low strikeout rate, and he certainly is not the ideal type of pitcher to thrive against this Yankees lineup.

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Yankees-Orioles Pick

Cortes displayed a ton of upside in 2021, and he has shown every indication that this could be a big year for him. It's fair to assume he offers a significant pitching advantage in favor of New York here.

Camden Yards has been great to this current Yankees lineup. Even though there may not be as many cheap home runs with the adjustments to the left-field wall, I still expect the Yanks to make life rough for Zimmermann Sunday.

We could see some different looking Sunday lineups here. Even if that's the case, I'm happy to lock in the Yankees First Five -0.5 as soon as I can in a spot where they have a massive starting-pitching advantage.

Pick: New York Yankees First 5 Innings -0.5 -125

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