Philadelphia Phillies (+253) at New York Yankees (-278, 7.5 o/u)
The New York Yankees (38-31, 20-12 Home), winners of four of five, welcome the lowly Philadelphia Phillies (24-47, 7-28 Away) to the Big Apple tonight for the first of three at Yankee Stadium (7:05 PM Eastern). The Pinstripes will start flamethrower Michael Pineda (8-3, 3.54 ERA) while the Phillies will counter with Kevin Correia (0-1, 1.69 ERA).
New York dropped the last game against the Detroit Tigers, 12-4, but had won their previous four overall (two against the Tigers and two against the Miami Marlins). Masahiro Tanaka allowed ten hits and seven runs in 5.0 innings.
Pineda, who will be making his 14th start of the season, has the Yanks sitting as heavy favorites to get back in the win column. The Dominican has won four of his last five, including a 2-1 win over the Marlins last time out in which he pitched innings of one-hit, one-run ball. Despite his dominance, Yankee manager Joe Girardi lifted Pineda after just 94 pitches that game.
“I don’t think it’s a situation where you can let a guy throw 130, 140 pitches,” Girardi said to the Associated Press about Pineda throwing only 94 pitches in the win. “It would be extremely difficult for me, and I would feel bad, but sometimes as a manager you have to protect players from themselves.”
The New York hitters have matched the team’s solid pitching every step of the way this year. The Yankee lineup is second-best in runs, eighth in on-base percentage and fourth in slugging and are averaging 6.8 RPG over the last five.
Philadelphia starter Kevin Correia will be making just his third start of the season and is still looking for his first win, though with a sparkling 1.69 ERA, it’s hard to blame the 34-year-old righty for that. The Phillies are the lowest scoring team in the majors (220 runs) and have won just two of the last 13 games in their schedule.
Philadelphia is already 13.5 games back of Washington in the NL East, and a full 15 games out of the second Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, the Yankees are just one behind the surprising Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East lead. With a win tonight and a Tampa loss to Toronto, New York would move into a tie at the top of the division.
Betting-wise, the Yankees don’t offer much value straight-up; getting your money down on a spread might be the best option. Look for the Yankees to take this one by +3 runs.
Pick: Yankees (-2.5).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)