Twins vs. Yankees Expert Pick - April 16, 2023
TWINS VS. YANKEES EXPERT PICK - APRIL 16, 2023 - Big pitching matchups don’t get a lot bigger than this one. It’s a Sunday getaway game, but Pablo Lopez and Gerrit Cole are two of the best arms in the game, and any time you get to see them face off, it’s likely to be a lower scoring affair. It’s the lowest total of the day, and that’s because of what these hurlers can do at their best.
Lopez has found the American League to his liking so far, winning his first two starts against AL competition. For the year, he’s given up just three runs in three starts, and he might have had a win over his former team if the Twins’ bullpen hadn’t given up four runs to Miami in the final two innings.
Cole has been just as effective, also surrendering just three runs in three starts. He hasn’t failed to pitch through six innings this year, and both pitchers can be counted on for between 85 and 100 pitches. That should have this game producing quite a few zeroes for the first five to six innings.
When: Sunday, April 16th at 1:35 pm EST
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York
Starting Pitchers: Pablo Lopez, MIN (1-0, 1.35 ERA, 26 K’s) vs. Gerrit Cole, NYY (3-0, 1.40 ERA, 22 K’s)
Public Bets: 88% on New York
Public Money: 93% on New York
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 16th, 2023
Minnesota vs. New York In-Season Trends
The Twins are still getting no respect in this matchup, even after winning two of three from New York.
That’s probably in part because the Twins’ offense isn’t the reason for their success. Minnesota doesn’t do much of anything on the base paths (one stolen base all year, last in the majors), so the Twins have to hit the ball out or they’re not going to produce a lot of offense.
They’ve landed on not much offense more often than not, as the UNDER has cashed in five of their past seven games with one push.
The Yankees are harder to solve because they’ve spent all week facing Cleveland and Minnesota, two of the stronger pitching staffs in the American League.
Against those two, the UNDER has hit in four of six, and one of the exceptions was because the Yankees gave up 11 runs themselves to the Twins on Thursday.
Usually, teams don’t produce big numbers against New York pitching; the Yankees have given up more than four runs just three times in 15 games.
Players to Watch
Cole and Lopez will get the attention for this game, and deservedly so.
If any offense is going to come from Minnesota, expect Michael A. Taylor to be the one to provide the big hit. But the Twins don’t get very aggressive on the basepaths, so they’re only going to go 90 feet at a time unless there’s a deep shot off Cole or the New York bullpen. Neither seems likely, as the Twins have just 16 home runs this season. Further, Taylor, Trevor Larnach and Byron Buxton have all struck out 20 times already, which should have Cole hunting strikeouts.
On the Yankees’ side, if you get through Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo, there’s not a lot left that’s dangerous. DJ LeMahieu is always a threat for a double in Yankee Stadium, but the rest of the lineup shouldn’t trouble Lopez too much.
Cole and Lopez can both rack up strikeouts, and both the Twins and Yankees KO far more than their fair share. Throw in that the wind will blow in from right-center at just above 10 miles per hour, and the UNDER has a real chance here, even as low as it is.
As for the matchup itself, the Yankees have played their best baseball for Cole this season. He’s won all three of his starts, and the Yanks have gotten at least four runs every time. That probably won’t happen against Lopez, but given that the Twins’ bullpen has let him down once, I’d rather be on New York’s side of the equation here.
Yankees ML (-155)