Atlanta Braves @ New York Yankees Preview
- Updated: June 18, 2012
Sportsbook.ag MLB ESPN Monday
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Yankees -200 & 8.5 over -115
The Yankees go for their 10th straight win, all versus National League clubs, when they host the slumping Braves Monday in the opener of a three-game set.
Atlanta has lost six of its past seven games, which includes dropping all three meetings with New York last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It also includes getting shut out in the past two games to the Orioles. Although the pitching matchup is a bit lopsided with Braves lefty Mike Minor carrying a 6.01 ERA and Yankees southpaw CC Sabathia sporting a 3.70 ERA (2.41 at home), Minor has pitched very well in June, allowing just two runs in 12.1 innings. His last start was on Tuesday against these same Yankees and he held them to one run on five hits in 7.1 strong innings. He fanned four and walked just one batter. Sabathia also took the hill that game and the Braves hit him pretty well with 10 hits and four runs in seven innings. Also, Atlanta’s hitting slump has come in pitcher-friendly Turner Field, and the club should be able to bust out in Yankee Stadium, a hitter’s haven.
Minor (3-4, 6.01 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) has certainly had his troubles on the road this season (6.58 ERA, 1.59 WHIP), but his last away outing was a good one. On June 7, he limited Miami to one run in five innings in an 8-2 blowout win. Despite his poor road numbers, the Braves are still 5-2 when Minor takes the mound as the visitor. And although his bullpen blew his win opportunity in his last start against New York, which he left with a 4-0 lead, Atlanta relievers have been great this year on the road with a 2.61 ERA, converting 14-of-16 save chances. But it’s tough to win games when you don’t hit, and the Braves are in a major slump with just 2.0 runs per game and a .303 on-base percentage during their 1-6 slide. They will probably be missing 1B Freddie Freeman (sore finger) for a fifth straight game too, but 2B Dan Uggla (11 HR, 41 RBI) has a good chance to break out of his 1-for-18 slump considering he’s reached base four times (1 double, 3 walks) in five plate appearances versus Sabathia.
Sabathia (8-3, 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) hasn’t been particularly sharp recently, allowing 3+ runs in five of his past six starts. He has a 3.95 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in this six-start span. However, Sabathia is always tough to beat in Yankee Stadium and this year is no exception as he carts an impressive 2.41 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in his five starts in Pinstripes. He has faced the Braves three times in his career, posting a 3.80 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Sabathia expects to be supported by a bunch of runs considering his team is scoring 5.1 runs per game with a .338 OBP and .449 slugging percentage during the nine-game win streak. However, the club will likely be missing OF Nick Swisher, who is nursing a quad injury. Swisher hit a game-winning homer in the eighth inning off Cory Gearrin in the last meeting when Minor started.
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