New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins
When and Where: Tuesday, Sept. 11, Target Field, Minneapolis, Minn., 8:10 p.m. EDT.
Sonny Gray has a chance to make his case for being included in the postseason rotation as the New York Yankees continue their three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
Gray looks to continue run of effectiveness for the Yanks
This will be his first start since Aug. 25 when he tossed 6 1-3 shutout innings in a 5-1 victory at Baltimore. In the interim, the right-hander had a four-inning relief stint Sept. 2 against Detroit in which he served up a solo homer and three other hits as New York lost 11-7.
“I feel like I’ve been throwing the ball well,” Gray told the club’s official website. “I’ll just try to continue the mindset, continue what I’ve been doing on the field and on the mound and in my early work. It’s an opportunity to go out there and start a game, and get back to trying to pitch winning ballgames.”
Gray did not register a decision versus Minnesota on April 25, giving up three runs and six hits while walking five in 4 2-3 innings before New York recorded a 7-4 victory. He is 2-3 with a 5.23 ERA in six lifetime starts versus the Twins, issuing 19 walks in 32 2-3 innings.
Duffey gets call as opener for Twins
The right-hander has logged 19 innings over his 14 appearances and has not pitched more than three innings in any outing. Duffey last pitched Saturday against Kansas City, giving up three runs and three hits while retiring just two batters in two-thirds of an inning in Minnesota’s 4-1 defeat.
The reliever has had a rough September, getting tagged for eight runs and seven hits over two innings spanning three appearances. Duffey’s season debut against the Yankees on April 24 was also one to forget as he served up home runs to Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez over two innings as part of an 8-3 defeat in the Bronx.
The Twins are:
- 0-7 in their last seven games vs. teams with a winning percentage above .600.
- 2-7 in their last nine games.
- 19-42 in their last 61 home games vs. the Yankees.
- The under is 6-0-1 in its last seven Tuesday games.
- The under is 5-1 in its last six during game 2 of a series.
The Yankees are:
- 5-0 in their last five during game 2 of a series.
- 4-0 in Gray’s last four starts vs. AL Central teams.
- 6-2 in Gray’s last eight road starts.
- The under is 13-3-2 in Gray’s last 18 road starts.
- The under is 6-2-1 in Gray’s last nine starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
- The under is 5-0-1 in Gray’s last six road starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Given Duffey’s recent struggles, the Yankees could jump out to an early lead in this game. Beyond that, Gray appears to have turned a corner in terms of his confidence and is simply pitching as opposed to overthinking. It may be a moot point for a spot in the playoff rotation, but he is pitching for a roster spot, and that will be enough to carry the Yankees.
Prediction: Pick: Yankees -181
Full-Game Total Pick
The hedge is that Gray pitches deep enough into this game to keep it low-scoring, and whoever pitches after Duffey is able to keep the Twins steady. The last time the Twins used the opener method with May, the under delivered.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 9.5 runs (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
This pick is as much about the Twins struggling offensively of late as it is about Gray perhaps turning in another strong outing. Minnesota has been held to three or fewer runs in six of its last seven games, with the 10 runs in those games matching the 10 it scored in a win over Kansas City on Friday. If Gray gets going early, look for those Twins bats to remain silent.
Prediction: Pick: Twins UNDER 3.5 runs (+105)
First Five Innings Side Pick
This is having confidence the Yankees will get the needed offense against Duffey and the first Twins reliever to grab a lead after five innings. There is some risk to this given New York has been tied after five innings in the last three games, but the hedge here is the offense gets on track.
Prediction: Pick: Yankees -0.5 runs (-125)
First Five Innings Total Bet
While not particularly enamored of the opener method, the other fact is the Twins have not given up a run over the first five innings of their last three games. If Duffey does his part and at least keeps the game competitive, the under should deliver here with Gray’s recent form.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 5 runs (-115)
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
Despite a pedestrian 4.50 ERA in the first inning, Gray has gotten through the opening frame unscathed in his last six starts. On the opposite side, the Twins have gone eight straight games not scoring in the first inning. While there is some risk to trusting Duffey, the pick here is no score after one.
Prediction: Pick: NO to 1st-inning run (-105)