Somebody’s modest, two-game winning streak will come to an abrupt end when the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs square off in the opener of a three-game set on Friday. The surprising Yankees have won six of their last eight while the defending World Series champion Cubs have bagged three of their last five. The Yankees are going with gifted right-hander Michael Pineda in this matchup while the Cubs counter with veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks.
Now, let’s find out what’s going to go down when these two World Series title hopefuls meet to kick off the weekend.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Yankees At Cubs MLB Expert Picks
When: Friday, May 5 at 2:20 PM ET
Where: Wrigley Field
TV: MLBN, YES
Radio: 670 The Score, WADO 1280, WFAN 660 / WFAN 101.9 FM
Live Stream: MLB.TV
Probable Pitchers: New York – Michael Pineda – R (3-1, 3.14 ERA) / Chicago – Kyle Hendricks – R (2-1, 5.10 ERA)
MLB Odds: Chicago Cubs – K Hendricks -r / Moneyline -120
Why Bet the New York Yankees
The best reason to bet on the New York Yankees in this Game 1 series opener is that New York has been smacking the cover off the ball like it’s going out of style lately. The Yankees scored 11 runs in their six-run win over Toronto on Tuesday before putting up another great offensive effort against the Blue Jays in their 8-6 win on Wednesday as right-fielder Aaron Judge smacked his major league-leading 13th home run.
“I feel like I’m swinging at good pitches and putting myself in good situations,” Judge said.
The hulking young star also helped ignite a seventh-inning rally with a base hit as the Yankees rallied from an early four-run deficit to get the win. Judge went 11-for-21 on New York’s six-game home stand and recorded the first three-hit game of his career while winning the American League Rookie of the Month award for his efforts.
“He’s obviously seeing the ball pretty well right now,” Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said. “When you’re feeling that way at the plate, you’re confident. Everything’s slow but it’s impressive. He’s got a big strike zone, a big strike zone and to be able to cover that and layoff some tough pitches and foul pitches off, it’s been impressive.”
New York won for the 16th time in 21 games and the fifth time this season when trailing by at least three runs. Veteran outfielder Matt Holliday smacked a three-run homer in the first inning to become the 142nd player in Major League Baseball history to reach 300 home runs.
Why Bet the Chicago Cubs
The bet reason to bet on Chicago in this affair is that the Cubs will almost surely want to deliver a message to the streaking Yanks and realize they need to start heating up after some mediocre play over the first month of the season. Chicago has won two straight over Philadelphia coming into this series opener but is just 3-4 over its last seven.
The Cubs squeaked past Philly 5-4 on Wednesday as backup catcher Willson Contreras smacked a two-out pinch-hit double to help the Chicago score four runs in the sixth inning en route to the win. “The pinch hit by Willson was very, very big,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He plays with his hair on fire, and sometimes it can actually work against him and he gets over assertive.”
Expert Analysis and Prediction
Michael Pineda was solid in limiting Baltimore to a pair of unearned runs in 5.1 innings in his last start while striking out eight. The 28-year-old has limited the opposition to two earned runs or less in three of hi lat four starts, but had given up one home run in four straight starts until his last outing.
Kyle Hendricks was also pretty solid the last time he took the mound by limiting Boston to two earned runs on three hits in 6.0 innings while striking out six and walking three. Hendricks gave up a two-run bomb to Boston’s Hanley Ramirez, but buckled down to shut down the BoSox.
For this matchup, I’m going to tell you to back the Yankees to put more run on the board against Kyle Hendricks than Chicago does against Michael Pineda. Chicago may be 11-4 in their last 15 Interleague games, but the Cubs are also just 6-6 at home this season and 1-5 in their last six games against teams from the AL East.
On the flip side of the coin, the Yankees have gone 5-1 in their last six games against a right-hander and a blistering 16-5 in their last 21 games. I’m thinking Aaron Judge takes Kyle Hendricks deep to help New York get the narrow road win.