New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins Preview and Pick – Ponson vs. Perkins

New York Yankees (63-55) +110, 9 1/2 at Minnesota Twins (65-52), 8 pm Eastern Monday
by Zman of

The New York Yankees, fresh off getting swept out in LA over the weekend, try to get back in the fight when they hit the Twin Cities for a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins beginning Monday night.

Baseball bookmakers are listing Minnesota and starting pitcher Glen Perkins (8-3, 4.38, 1.47 WHIP) as 120 home favorites for Monday’s game, with a total of 9 1/2, while New York and Sidney Ponson (7-2, 4.23, 1.57) are getting +110 as road underdogs.

The Yankees just dropped three straight games to the Angels this weekend, and are now 2-5 on their current 10-game road-trip.

Meanwhile, the Twins just took two of three games in Kansas City over the weekend.

So going into this week’s action, NY is in third place in the AL East, 8 1/2 games back of the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays, while Minnesota is in second place in the AL Central, just a half-game behind the first-place Chicago White Sox.

The Twins are also a game and a half behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL wild-card race, while New York is four games out.

New York is 27-29 on the road this year, 10-16 as favorites/underdogs, and 50-67 vs. the run line.

Minnesota is 39-21 at home this season, and has won eight straight series at the Metrodome. They’re also 29-11 as favorites, and a league-leading 72-44 vs. the run line.

The Yanks have taken five of seven games from the Twinks so far this season, with the totals going 5-2, as the games have averaged 10.4 total runs per.

Over his last three starts, including a winning performance vs. Texas last Wednesday, Ponson has allowed 10 ER and 24 baserunners (hits + walks) in 17 1/3 IP. New York is 5-2 in Ponson’s starts this year, the totals 3-4.

Ponson has already started three times vs. Minnesota this season, twice as a member of the Texas Rangers. He’s giving up five ER and 26 BR in 20 IP, as his teams have won two of those three games.

Over his last three starts, including a rough outing vs. Seattle last Monday, Perkins has given up 14 ER and 31 BR in 18 1/3 IP. Minnesota is 10-7 in Perkins’ starts this year, the totals 9-8.

Perkins has started twice so far this year vs. the Yanks, allowing 10 ER and 21 BR in 10 IP. The Twins lost both those games.

Offensively, New York ranks 7th in the majors this season in team BA at .272, 5th in team OBP at .345, 11th in team slugging at .426, and is averaging 4.8 runs per game.

Minnesota ranks 4th in batting at .277, 12th in OBP at .336, 20th in slugging at .410, and is averaging 5.0 RPG.

Over the last five games, the Minnesota bullpen has allowed four ER and 24 BR in 16 2/3 IP.

Over its’ last five games, the New York pen, thanks to an eight-run eighth inning vs. the Angels Saturday, has given up 15 ER and 27 BR in 14 IP.

The totals are 48-66 in Yankees games this year, although 12 of their last 16 games have gone over the totals.

The totals are 63-52 in Twins games this season, and 29-30 in games played at the Metrodome, which are averaging 8.9 total runs this season.

Zman’s Pick: I’ll fade Ponson until he retires. Take the Twins as a short home fav.