Yankees vs Twins Picks and Predictions: Cortes Cruises, Archer Off the Mark

At first glance, the Yankees have a huge edge with Nestor Cortes on the mound against Chris Archer. A deeper look, however, shows that it's a massive advantage for the Bronx Bombers — and our MLB betting picks are taking full advantage of that mismatch.

Jared Hochman - Content Manager at Covers.com
Jared Hochman • Content Manager
Jun 8, 2022 • 16:39 ET • 4 min read
Nestor Cortes Jr. New York Yankees MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees continue to beat up on any and all opponents, kicking off a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins with a 10-4 victory that marked seven straight wins for the Yanks.

Despite sitting first in the AL Central and getting back a star slugger, MLB betting lines have the Twins as sizeable home underdogs today, as the Yankees have their (arguably) best pitcher on the mound.

Unfortunately for Minnesota backers, our free MLB picks and predictions don't expect much success against New York's nasty southpaw — read on to find out why. 

Yankees vs Twins odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The line opened with New York -160/Minnesota +147 but has shifted to see the Yankees sit anywhere from -170 to -182 as of 1:30 p.m. ET, which sits right in line with the -169 line that New York closed at yesterday. The total has moved from 8.5 to a flat 9 — also mirroring yesterday's final number but being just the third time in the Yankees' last 16 games a total has sat this high.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Yankees vs Twins predictions

Picks made on 6/8/2022 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

Best Yankees vs Twins bonuses

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Yankees vs Twins game info

Location: Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2022
First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
TV: YES, Bally Sports

Yankees vs Twins betting preview

Starting pitchers

Nestor Cortes Jr. (5-1, 1.50 ERA): After posting a breakout second half with New York in 2021, the 27-year-old Cortes has been utterly dominant through the first two-plus months of this season. He has allowed more than two runs just once in 10 starts and is coming off seven shutout innings against the Angels. The lefty does an incredible job of mixing speeds and arm angles, sitting in the 85th percentile (or better) in strikeout rate, barrel percentage, expected ERA, and expected batting average.

Chris Archer (0-2, 3.89 ERA): After four straight injury-plagued seasons, Archer has had a bit of a resurgence in 2022 with Minnesota, posting an ERA that would be his lowest since 2015. The 33-year-old righty has given up just one run in three of his last four outings, but his K/9 is currently the second-lowest rate of his career and he does not go deep into games — his most recent start was the first time this season he completed five innings.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Yankees: Aroldis Chapman RP (Out), Jonathan Loaisiga RP (Out), Chad Green RP (Out).
Twins: Carlos Correa SS (Probable), Luis Arraez 2B (Out), Miguel Sano 3B (Out), Royce Lewis SS (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Yankees are 10-1 in their last 11 road games against a right-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Yankees vs. Twins

Yankees vs Twins picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Run line analysis

Let's get right to it: The biggest difference in this game will be the starting pitching.

On the surface, both Nestor Cortes Jr. and Chris Archer have posted solid numbers this season, and while it's obvious that Cortes has been much more effective... looking deeper into the analytics shows there is an even bigger chasm between the actual quality of these arms.

Cortes' two primary pitches, a fourseam fastball and a cutter, have resulted in a .176 and .149 opponent batting average (per FanGraphs). His 1.50 ERA is not far off from his 2.19 xERA (in the top 4% of all pitchers), with a .200 xBA sitting in the top 8% of the league — plus he is among the league's elite in limiting hard-hit balls (33.6%) and avoiding hitters barreling him up (4.1% per Baseball Savant).

Archer, on the other hand, has actually been much worse than his surface numbers indicate. His xERA is 5.51, in large part because opponents are hitting a reasonable .203 off his slider (his primary pitch)... but a robust .372 off his fastball, which he throws 39% of the time. It's also not just that teams are hitting the fastball, but they're hitting it hard — he's just in the eighth percentile of all pitchers with a 12.4% barrel rate.

The Twins' righty also lacks any deception, sitting in the 15th percentile in chase rate (a career-worst 24%). His whiff percentage is also nearly five percentage points below his career average, and he struggles to get ahead in the count with a career-worst 57.6 first strike percentage — which all adds up to him getting almost three fewer strikeouts per nine innings based on his career average and sitting in the bottom quarter of all pitchers in strikeout percentage.

It's a terrible mix against a Yankees lineup that strikes out at the 11th-lowest rate in baseball, sits first in the league in barrel percentage, hard-hit rate, and xBA, and has scored at least five runs in five of its last seven wins. Archer generally doesn't go more than four innings, but this profiles to be a game where Minnesota could fall behind early, which is not an enviable position against Cortes.

The Twins do get a boost by the return of star shortstop Carlos Correa, but they will not have leadoff hitter Luis Arraez — who leads the Majors with a .361 BA and .448 OBP — and, again, hanging a crooked number on Cortes is a difficult endeavor right now.

The Yankees are red hot at the plate, they have their best arm on the mound, and the Twins have a guy that's primed to get pummeled. We're banking on the Bronx Bombers to make it eight straight Ws.

Prediction: Yankees -1.5 (-105 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

It's worth repeating again: Nestor Cortes is nasty and will not give up many (if any) runs. He's allowed multiple earned runs just three times in 10 outings, has pitched at least seven innings in four of his last five starts, and avoids hard contact.

If we're going to get to double-digits in this game, it's going to be on the backs of the boys in pinstripes.

We clearly expect them to do some damage against Archer, but how many runs can they score in the first three/four innings? Minnesota has a respectable bullpen, sitting in the middle of the league in K rate, ERA, and BA, with manager Rocco Baldelli not using most of his high-leverage relievers yesterday, so he will have his best arms ready to roll in the likely event Archer needs an early hook.

For as hot as the Yanks' offense is, the Under is still 6-4 in their last 10 games and eight of Cortes' 10 starts this season have failed to see the full-game total reach double digits.

New York will do enough damage early against Archer to win this game comfortably, but with Cortes keeping the Twins quiet, we don't see the Bombers doing enough to get this Over tonight's total.

Prediction: Under 9 (-105 at PointsBet)

Best bet

After reading everything above, what if we told you there was a way to fade Archer — at a plus-money value?

Pretty cool, right?

We're staring at a pitcher who doesn't strike guys out (or even get them to chase bad pitches) and gives up a lot of hard contact... against a red-hot lineup that does a good job of making contact and consistently hits the ball hard.

Archer averages roughly a hit against per inning, but his last four starts have been against Detroit (twice), Kansas City, and Oakland — a.k.a the 28th, 21st, and 30th-ranked offenses in batting average — and he has only faced an opponent inside the Top 20 team averages once this year (his season opener against the Dodgers).

New York is in another class offensively compared to Archer's recent opponents, and considering the Yanks have smacked 53 hits off starters over their last eight games (34 2-3 innings) — including 5+ hits in six of those contests — we're all-in on Archer allowing Over 4.5 hits tonight.

Pick: Chris Archer Over 4.5 hits allowed (+120 at bet365)

MLB parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s MLB Yankees vs. Twins picks, you could win $73.86 on a $10 bet?

Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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