This highly anticipated AL East series has lived up to the hype through the first two games with a lot of back and forth and excitement. We’ll preview tonight’s rubber match before going over my best prop play for the action.
The Yankees were in control of last night’s game until a disaster of a seventh inning. Baltimore pushed eight runs across in the inning, which made a five-run Yankees lead disappear, as it all started with an Adam Frazier three-run home run and was capped by an Austin Hays RBI single to make the score 9-5. That big inning gave the Orioles ten total hits for the game and made tonight’s contest even more important.
New York looked to have gotten a quality start from Nestor Cortes, but his last batter ended up being Adam Frazier, and the three-run home run which gave Cortes four earned runs for the game. The Yankees will send Clarke Schmidt to the mound tonight for his 11th start. In 45 innings, Schmidt has a 6.00 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 16 walks. The right-hander has been inconsistent up to this point, but he is coming off his second win of the year in which he went five innings with two earned runs allowed.
Opposite of Schmidt tonight will be Kyle Gibson, who is set to also make his 11th start. The big right-hander has thrown 59 innings and pitched to a 4.27 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 18 walks. Gibson tossed his best start since April 22nd in his most recent outing, as he went seven innings with just one earned run allowed.
Gibson will face a Yankees lineup that had six hits and six runs in yesterday’s game, as they left the yard three times. Gleyber Torres continued to be an Orioles killer as he hit two of the three homers, but at the end of the day, New York still struck out 13 times and left 12 runners on base.
Kyle Gibson’s strikeout total is currently set at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the under, which is priced at (-115). The right-hander is averaging 4.1 per game, and he faces a tough matchup in a Yankees team that has hit righties well at home this month while keeping their strikeout total to a minimum.
New York has the second-lowest strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching at home in May at 17.5%. The Yankees also have one of the best balls-in-play percentages in the league this season, so they need to face someone with elite stuff to rack up a lot of strikeouts. Gibson is not one of those guys, as he is in the 14th percentile in strikeout percentage, 27th percentile in whiff percentage, and 46th percentile in chase rate.
Gibson has 42 plate appearances against him by seven of the Yankees, and his strikeout percentage is just 19%, while his expected batting average against those hitters is .292. With New York having the 4th best wRC+ against righties at home this month and Gibson’s league-average stuff, I don’t see him going over his total tonight.
Kyle Gibson Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-115)