Yankees vs. Twins Odds
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
The Yankees always seem to play memorable games in Minnesota, and Tuesday night was no different.
They crawled out of a two-run hole early, and with the game tied late, used a couple of massive frames to pull away from one of the most disappointing teams in all of baseball.
Wednesday’s encore promises to be another good one, with Gerrit Cole taking the mound in the midst of plenty of talk about sticky substances.
Will more fireworks ensue in Minnesota, or will it be business as usual for Cole? Let’s have a look at the numbers to find out.
How to Approach Betting On Gerrit Cole
We’ve yet to see a drastic change in the way these new bad boys of baseball pitch in light of recent developments regarding foreign substances, but we still have to talk about it here.
Cole is front and center after his extremely awkward response to a question about Spider Tack the other day, and he’s one of the prime suspects in baseball’s quest to pick out the hurlers who are using sticky stuff to increase their spin rates.
After all, he did work with Brent Strom, who Trevor Bauer has named as one of the culprits of this new epidemic, which makes his strange answer all the more damning.
Gerrit Cole on if he ever used Spider Tack while pitching:
"I don't quite know how to answer that, to be honest…If MLB wants to legislate some more stuff, that's a conversation that we can have" pic.twitter.com/2fR1AUeOQX
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) June 8, 2021
Still, Major League Baseball has been on the case for a week or two now, and in Cole’s most recent start, he didn’t see a drop in spin rate. It’s possible he’s either innocent or just figures the league can’t possibly discipline him, for the problem is too widespread.
Whatever the case, I’m not approaching betting on Cole — or any other pitcher whose spin rates are off the charts — any differently. Once the data backs up that pitchers are throwing differently, it’ll be time to adjust.
With that, I’m not very concerned with his clunker of a start last time out against the Rays. He should be back to normal here against an offense that’s significantly worse.
What’s normally concerning is the Yankees’ offense, but that, too, seemed to rebound on Tuesday and has now scored five or more runs in back-to-back games.
Who Can the Twins Turn To?
The Twins, for better or worse, are significantly more boring than the Yankees right now. Sure, they don’t have any controversy surrounding them, but they haven’t been very good at the plate this season.
There could be some hope on the horizon, however, with the 13th-best wRC+ over the last two weeks and a decent contact rate that’s up over 75%. We know this team has some boppers who can bring it in the exit velocity department, so getting the bat on the ball is important.
The Twins have also walked at a high rate over the last two weeks — almost 10% — and unexpected heroes have emerged, like Rob Refsnyder to get on base for said boppers.
Traffic on the base paths is crucial, which is what makes Tuesday’s matchup with a pitcher who rarely walks hitters a difficult one. Cole’s allowed plenty of hard-hit balls, though, so the focus here will be on Josh Donaldson, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano, who are exit velocity machines.
Randy Dobnak will start for the Twins, and he’s sure not glad to see the Yankees here. The only time he faced them was in the 2019 postseason when he was shelled, giving up four runs on six hits over two innings. Dobnak’s mustache is probably the only thing worth writing home about. He’s a pitch-to-contact sinkerballer with a .319 expected batting average and a 58.2% hard-hit rate. Yikes.
As mentioned above, this couldn’t be a worse matchup for Dobnak. There’s not a good matchup for him, though.
The goal of pitching to contact is to induce soft ground balls, but he hasn’t done that. His ground-ball rate is good at 55.5%, but it’s not where it was last year. Those ground balls have also come off the bat like a rocket, making it nearly impossible for him to get outs that way.
The Yankees have struggled to make contact this year, but when they do, they make hard contact. Dobnak will serve up hittable pitches all night, and the Yankees should crush them. It doesn’t hurt that they have .63 runs created per 100 sinkers, which is a top-10 mark in baseball.
Meanwhile, the Twins shouldn’t be afforded the free passes that have helped them out lately, and Cole should get back to dominating here in the midst of so much controversy in a start that’s going to mean a lot to him.
This should be a rout.
Pick: Yankees -1.5 (-122)
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