Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Moneyline: BAL +190/NYY -230
Series: BAL +355/NYY-435
First pitch: 6:35 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: David Hess (1-4, 5.50 ERA) vs. Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.32 ERA)
With the New York Mets getting the day off to start the new week, let's explore betting a Yankee game, shall we?
The Bronx Bombers will welcome a familiar division foe into town for a three-game set beginning tonight, as they'll look to continue their mastery of the last-place Orioles. New York has already faced the O's six times this year, winning four of those meetings, and they were 12-7 against Baltimore a year ago.
As one would expect, the Yanks are the heavy favorites, making this contest potentially a little trickier to wager on. After all, you'd have to risk $230 just to net $100 on the Yankees winning straight up.
And that's certainly not a sure thing with Cessa on the mound. The 27-year-old isn't even one of New York's regular starting pitchers, having been utilized in more of a swingman role since first coming up three years ago. He's being pressed into action here due to injuries to other members of the pitching staff.
Cessa has yielded mixed results upon his arrival, owning an undesirable 5-11 record in 54 career games -- including 19 starts -- to go with a 4.55 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Complicating matters a bit more, Cessa will be making his first start of the year, something that can easily be a decisive variable considering how pitchers prefer to be in a set routine when entering any starting assignment.
Interestingly, all of Cessa's 11 losses in the big leagues have come as a starter. He's actually been slightly better as a reliever, as evident in the 4.93 ERA and 1.30 WHIP he's registered in his 19 starts. While he has shown some potential as well, Cessa's overall inconsistency could drive away most bettors from tailing him at such a high price.
On the contrary, Hess is someone the Yankees can easily get to. In fact, they did just that when they last saw him on April 7, tattooing the second-year right-hander for four runs in five innings, including three homers, en route to a victory. In 12 career innings opposite the Yankees, Hess holds a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 ERA while serving up five home runs total.
The benefit of betting against a pitcher like Hess is that you know the Yankees can put the ball in play against him with regularity. Hess isn't a strikeout pitcher at all, having logged three or fewer K's in four of his seven starts.
How I Would Bet This Game
Two volatile pitchers going at it in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in all of baseball should have bettors tilted toward the over. It's not a bad idea to also consider the Yankees on the -1.5 runline (meaning they have to win by two or more runs), which carries reasonable -125 odds. But the over, in my opinion, appears to be the safer bet, especially when you factor in Baltimore's dreadful bullpen.
Should You Bet The Series?
The Yanks are getting back to full health and look like they're heating up again, having won six of their last eight. But while a date with the Orioles seems academic, it's just never worth it to lay such pricey odds -- like -435, to be specific -- on a series when, realistically, any major league team can take two of three from any given opponent. So, no, betting the series is not recommended.