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Yankees vs. Orioles Odds, Preview, Prediction: Finding Value on Lopsided Line (Saturday, May 15)

Yankees vs. Orioles Odds, Preview, Prediction: Finding Value on Lopsided Line (Saturday, May 15) article feature image

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Domingo German and Kyle Higashioka.

  • The Yankees and Orioles meet on Saturday, a day after New York's comeback victory.
  • The Yankees are obviously favored, but is there any value in Baltimore as underdogs?
  • Michael Arinze breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Yankees vs. Orioles Odds

Yankees Odds-160
Orioles Odds+140
Over/Under8.5 (-120 / +100)
Time7:05 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday morning and via bet365.

The Yankees got a pinch-hit three-run home run from Gio Urshela to rally from a two-run deficit against the Orioles on Friday night.

For New York, it was a good response after having its four-game winning streak snapped on Thursday by the Rays.

The Yankees will try to start another winning streak with Domingo Germán on the mound on Saturday. German will be opposed by Jorge López, who’ll be looking to halt Baltimore’s three-game losing streak.

There are plenty of betting angles in play for this game, but they seem to be slanted to one side. Let’s dive into this matchup, and I’ll reveal which team I’d prefer to put my money behind.

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Yankees’ Offense Seems to Have Awaken

After a 5-10 start, the Yankees have bounced back and are 16-7 in their last 23 games. Things have looked more fluid for them offensively as their bats started to wake up, and timely hits have become much more of a norm, just as we saw last night.

With Giancarlo Stanton out of the lineup with a quad injury, Urshela stepped in to give Aaron Judge some much-needed support. As long as New York can have at least one other player to pair with Judge — who drove in another two RBI — they should be fine.

The good news for New York is Judge has been able to stay healthy thus far. He’s played in 35 of 38 games and has a .282/.382/.565 line with 10 home runs. The Yankees should get even better production as soon as their first baseman, Luke Voit, gets some games under his belt. Voit is still searching for his first hit after returning to the team this week following a torn meniscus that delayed his start to the season.

A Bloop and a Blast

Despite a .219 team average, New York’s wRC+ of 100 is just league-average. And when you have a team like the Yankees that’s tied for fourth with 51 home runs, a bloop and a blast can change the outcome of a game in a hurry.

That’s something New York will look to exploit on Saturday against López. The Orioles’ right-hander has a HR/FB rate of 24.1 percent.

According to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors, Camden Yards has the second-highest favorable rating (1.588) for hitters in terms of home runs. It’s also a ballpark that López has struggled in. He’s 0-2 with a 6.62 ERA at home vs. 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA on the road.

The numbers are even more telling if you look a little deeper as hitters have a .292/.358/.444 line against him at home compare to .160/.250/.400 on the road.

Germán Should Shine Against Orioles’ Offense

I generally begin my handicaps by focusing on the pitching, but in this instance, I think there’s a clear disparity in quality when you look at both teams in this matchup. That disparity has been on display throughout this head-to-head series as New York has essentially doubled up Baltimore in terms of runs scored, 36-17.

On Saturday, the Orioles will face a pitcher in Germán, who has relished his chances against them. In 65 plate appearances, Baltimore’s hitters have a .186/.262/.203 line against Germán. Perhaps what’s even more impressive is that he’s limited them to a .017 isolated slugging average (ISO).

This season, Baltimore is 25th with a wRC+ of 89 and 27th with a .291 OBP. Only the Angels (6.7%) have drawn fewer walks than the Orioles (7.5%). In fact, Baltimore has the fourth-highest percentage (34.1%) of swings outside the strike zone in the league. That should work to Germán’s advantage as he’s inducing batters to swing outside the zone 36.1% of the time this season — which is a career-high.

Old-School Pitching

What’s interesting about Germán is he seems to pitch backward, which is something that’s not as common in the modern game. He throws a mixture of four different pitches, but the curveball is actually his most used pitch at 32.9%, while his four-seam fastball is second at 27.2%.

Germán’s two other pitches include a changeup (25.2%) and a sinker (14.6%). However, none of his other pitches have generated a higher whiff rate than his curveball (33.3%).

FanGraphs’ Pitch Info data values Germán’s curveball to be 3.7 runs above average. The curveball is a pitch that’s been a bugaboo for Baltimore’s hitters as they rank 26th in the league (six runs below average) against the pitch.

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Yankees-Orioles Pick

Backing the Yankees in this matchup won’t come cheap as the lowest price in the market I could find was -160 at bet365. My model actually makes them a -183 favorite with a win expectancy of 63.54%.

I always try to examine other elements in my handicap for better or worse, so let’s recap what we know so far:

  • New York has been prodigious in hitting home runs, and Camden Yards is a park that favors that part of their game.
  • López’s splits are much worse at home than on the road.
  • Germán tends to pitch backward with his curveball — a pitch that Baltimore has struggled immensely against this season.

Now here are a few more nuggets to consider for the game:

  • This season, Baltimore has failed to win consecutive games that López has started.
  • Baltimore is 3-6 off a team win in López’s last start, and they’re 0-5 in the last five games in this situational spot.
  • Since 2008, Baltimore is 4-11 (-5.23 units) when they’re on a three-game losing streak and facing the Yankees.
  • Domingo Germán is a perfect 5-0 against the Orioles.

This all supports my model, which values Germán a bit more considering it prices him at -183 vs. -160 at bet365. However, I haven’t decided if I’m desperate enough to swallow that kind of juice, but I also wouldn’t rule out a run line play in the first five at -0.5 / -115.

Either way, I can only look to New York in this spot as there isn’t enough in my findings to support a play on Baltimore.

Pick: Lean Yankees ML (-160)

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