TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH
#912 NY YANKEES with Cortes (-142) over Minnesota with Gray at 7:05 PM EST
Back on track off three consecutive wins, the Bronx Bombers will stay hot and grab another victory when they fight the Twins in the final battle of this three-game series. New York’s lead in the AL East rests at 5.0-games over Tampa Bay and, with their next three wars at home against the Rays, manager Aaron Boone’s boys will be sure to cash this ticket.
Left-hander Nestor Cortes will hit the hump for the Pinstripes. So far this season, No. 65 had his number called 23 times in a starting role and been scratched for 39 earned runs and 96 hits in 131.0 innings. Cortes whiffed 133 and walked 30 on his way to a 9-4 mark with a respectable 2.68 ERA. Nestor has been tough to beat in the Big Apple too. At home, Cortes has surrendered only 16 earned runs and 40 hits in 65.1 frames. That’s good enough for a 4-1 tally with a miniscule 2.20 ERA.
Veteran righty Sonny Gray will take the mound for the Twinkies. In 2022, No. 54 has made 21 starts and been nicked for 36 earned runs and 85 hits in 104.2 innings of work. Gray struck out 101 and walked 33 on his way to a 7-4 record with a 3.10 ERA. Sonny has experienced a few problems with the Yankees. Since 2014, Gray has faced NY five times and been slapped for 15 earned runs and 31 hits in 29.2 frames. That’s bad enough for a 1-2 mark and a soft 4.55 ERA.
Plenty of lucrative trends support this Best Bet. New York has won 54 of its last 71 when facing teams from the AL Central, 123 of its last 183 in Yankee Stadium fighting a winning team, and 51 of its last 75 when coming off a win. On the other side of the yard, Minnesota has fallen in nine of its last 11 when coming off a loss, 19 of its last 26 as a guest, and 20 of its last 28 when playing on Thursday.
The Yankees have the Rays right on their tail and they’ll need to win at home in order to keep their slim advantage. Take New York with Cortes. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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