We couldn’t gain any winning momentum from Tuesday night’s pick as the Minnesota Twins knocked off the Cleveland Indians behind a surprisingly strong effort from starter Phil Hughes. Hughes, in just his second start since a five-week absence due to a herniated disc in his back, was sharp as he threw five scoreless innings, giving up just four hits while walking none and striking out four. He outdueled Corey Kluber on this night as the reigning Cy Young winner couldn’t continue his dominance over the Twins as he was knocked out of the game during a fourth inning in which he was charged with four earned runs. He also surrendered a homerun, five hits and two walks on route to his 15th loss of the season. It has been a tough go for Kluber lately as his fall from grace continues but I at least thought his history against the Twins suggested he had their number, but a solid start to last night’s game unraveled in a hurry and we are left with a 1-2 record for the week. I am determined to get back to even with tonight’s pick so without further hesitation let’s get back at it.
Chicago White Sox @ New York Yankees
My Pick – WHITE SOX (+112)
After losing a legend in Yogi Berra on Tuesday, the New York Yankees were dealt another heartbreaking loss last night at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays which has sent New York home with a 3.5 game deficit in the AL East. While New York remains four games ahead of the Houston Astros for the first Wildcard spot in the AL, they could certainly use some momentum as they prepare for what will likely be a one-game playoff against the second wildcard winner. It may be tough to get back to winning for the Yankees tonight as they will face Chris Sale of the White Sox who has simply dominated the Yankees in his career. The lanky lefty is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA in five career starts against the pinstripes and should be tough on some left-handed hitters in the Yankees lineup. Chase Headley’s 2 for 5 (.400) against Sale is the only batting average above the .250 mark among Yankees hitters who have seen him before while good left-handed hitters like Brett Gardner (0 for 7) and Jacoby Ellsbury (0 for 3) haven’t been able to get a hit against the Chicago ace. Someone who has been hittable in the Bronx is Michael Pineda who has pitched to a 7.06 ERA over his last four starts at home. Pineda has had some uneven performances since returning from the DL as he sports a 4.67 ERA in five starts since coming back from a forearm strain. After an excellent start to the season where he registered nine wins and a 3.64 ERA before the All-Star break, he has won just two contests while registering a 5.35 ERA after the break, while also dealing with the aforementioned forearm issue. I am going to put my money on Sale tonight to keep the Yankees hitters at bay while dealing his counterpart his third straight loss at home.