Yankees @ Orioles July 9 Free Pick


With a week to go before the all-star break, the New York Yankees are looking up at Boston in the standings and don’t want to have to crane their necks any further before they get to the more-than-halfway point.

The Red Sox are hot and finish with Texas and Toronto, which means New York has to take care of business against Baltimore, which hosts four games in three days to start the week, including a doubleheader on Monday.

The Orioles aren’t exactly lurking, 37 games back and in last place in the division standings. Baltimore lost seven in a row before winning one game last week and then losing the last six. One win every two weeks isn’t even bad enough to get anybody too fired up in Baltimore these days. All thoughts are directed toward the trade deadline and how many players the O’s will successfully liquidate this month.

After CC Sabathia starts the first game on Monday, Luis Cessa will take the ball in the night-cap, a -150 road favorite.

Free Pick

I don’t expect Baltimore to win any of the four games between now and Wednesday, however banged up the Yankees are.

Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez are both on the disabled list and won’t play in this series. Aroldis Chapman and Aaron Hicks both departed Saturday’s game early, but both guys reported feeling ok on Sunday morning, though neither played as precautions. I suspect the doubleheader on Monday might have had something to do with that.

The Yankees’ depth is going to play in the doubleheader. I imagine Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will each get a game in right field while the fills the DH slot. That would leave Hicks, Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier to split up the rest of the outfield duties.

Luis Cessa isn’t stretched out but I trust him to do what he can against the Orioles; I have had too much trust in him in the past, however. Surely Aaron Boone has a plan of how to get nine innings out of his staff in the second game and with Sabathia going in the first one, it may not be a challenge. Masahiro Tanaka is expected to be activated prior to the start of the first game on Monday, by the way.

At this point, I don’t know what Baltimore is planning to do with its pitching staff and I’m not in any rush to find out. By the time this second game rolls around, the staff is going to be depleted; in fact, it nearly is already after giving up all sorts of runs in Minnesota over the weekend.

New York wins about two games for each loss and Baltimore does the inverse. I’m only surprised the Yankees aren’t bigger favorites. I’m going to play the Yankees on the moneyline, as well as putting some on the runline.

Free Pick: New York -1 (-130)

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