New York is a -200 moneyline bet heading into the ALDS Twins Yankees Game 1 free pick. It’s no doubt that the Yankees should be the favorite, especially at home where they were 57-24 during the regular season. Is Minnesota disrespected at +170 though? The Twins were not only 55-26 away from Target Field this season, they set the MLB record with 307 HR. The pressure is likely more on the Yankees here, is it the perfect spot for the Twins to steal one?
Minnesota Ready For Battle
A heavyweight battle is about to commence in the ALDS Twins Yankees game 1 free pick as New York had just 1 less home run during Minnesota during this record setting season for the long ball. Minnesota is a very deep squad that had 5 players hit 30+ HR during the regular season led by Nelson Cruz with 41.
What the Twins like about their chances Friday is that they are not just a boom or bust team. Minnesota was also 2nd in the league in batting average and OPS. What Minnesota does not have going for them is that they have a manager experiencing his first postseason at the helm in Rocco Baldelli. Minnesota has also met New York in the postseason 5 times since 2003 with the series at 13-2 Yankees including a win in the 2017 wild card game.
The Yankees are a -245 favorite for the series win but that doesn’t mean Minnesota can’t get game one. The Twins have their best pitcher in Jose Berrios on the mound and he’s gotten his first postseason jitters out of the way with a relief appearance in the 2017 wild card game. Berrios did not pitch vs. the Yankees in the regular season. New York has also hit .308 vs. the Minnesota starter as a team, going 16-52 with 3 HR.
New York Ready to Dominate?
The Yankees are expected to win not only this series, they are the 3rd best bet to win the World Series at +425. One would think New York has pressure coming into the 2019 ALDS game 1 free pick especially against a dangerous Minnesota team but New York has been here before. The Yankees went to Game 7 of the ALCS vs. the Astros in 2017 but were beaten 3-1 by the Red Sox in the ALDS last season. Those defeats have left a bad taste in the mouth of New York.
The reason New York is too high of a favorite on Friday is because they a) haven’t faced Berrios at all this season, b) haven’t played a meaningful game in a while (won the East by 7 games, lost top seed in AL by 4 games) and c) James Paxton may have some question marks on the mound. Sure, Paxton was one of the better pitchers in the AL in the second half posting a 10-2 record with a 3.63 ERA after the break. He has still never started a postseason game and was forced from his last start of the regular season early with a tight glute muscle.
Of course Paxton doesn’t have to be great with the Yankees offense going to bat for him. New York topped the Twins in runs/game and finished just a HR shy of Minnesota’s MLB record-setting pace. Giancarlo Stanton has just 1 home run since returning on September 19th however. Gleyber Torres led New York with 38 long balls on the season and should be a big presence in his 2nd career postseason.
2019 ALDS Game 1 Twins Yankees Free Pick
The total for Friday’s game is only 8.5 which seems incredibly low with two teams that hit a combined 613 home runs on the season. Oddsmakers seem to be baiting bettors on an over wager, especially with two quality starting pitchers that have solid bullpens behind them. Yankee Stadium was 29th out of 30 ballparks in terms of park factor for offensive production and 25th in home runs. The public should be pounding the ‘over’ which makes a solid under sneak in an optimistic play.
Pick: Twins / Yankees *Under* 8.5