Yankees Looking For Fifth Straight When They Face Minnesota Friday

The New York Yankees are leading the American League East by 5 ½ games over the second place Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees have won four straight and have an overall record of 53-41. The Yankees are 8-2 over their past 10 games played and are beginning to stretch their lead in the AL East.

The Yankees will face the Minnesota Twins on Friday night in Minnesota. New York on the road this season is 23-24 and coming off a home win on Wednesday night over AL East rivals the Baltimore Orioles.

The current line on the game Friday between the Yankees and Twins has New York favored at -137, with Minnesota at +136 and the run total sitting on 8.

Friday’s game will be the first of a three-game set between the two teams. New York is 12-4 in July including a run of 5-1 since returning from the All-Star break. The Yankees are getting their strong results of late thanks to strong pitching from their starters as they are allowing just 2.7 runs per game since the break.

Minnesota is in its own playoff race and won on Thursday 3-0 to snap a losing strike of four games. The Twins are three games ahead of the Blue Jays for the second and final wildcard spot.

On Friday, Minnesota will send Phil Hughes, former pitcher with the Yankees, to the mound. The Twins right-hander is 8-6 with an ERA of 4.15 on the season. The Yankees will counter with Michael Pineda. The New York right-hander is 9-6 with an ERA of 3.77.

Pineda had three consecutive strong outings come to an end this past Saturday when he gave up four runs in six innings in a loss to Seattle. However, on the road this season in eight starts, the right-hander is 5-3 with an ERA of 4.11.

Since June 8, Hughes has not lost a decision. On Saturday, he pitched seven innings versus Oakland allowing just one run but did not get a decision.

Hughes has given up one home run or more in each of his past eight starts.

Hughes pitched seven seasons with the Yankees after he was drafted into the organization. He is 1-1 with an ERA of 5.65 in his two starts versus the Yankees.

New York centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has a double and has scored a run in the consecutive games. Didi Gregoriius a shortstop for the Yankees had three hits Thursday after having only 3 hits in his previous 22 at bats.

The OVER has cashed in 4 of the past 5 games between the two teams. New York has won 40 of the past 54 games head to head with Minnesota.

Prediction: Yankees 6-4

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