The Yankees and Cardinals kick off a weekend series Friday night in St. Louis. The Cardinals are the betting favorites at -115 on the moneyline, but the Yankees are also less than even money at -105. The over/under is at 9.5 runs with +100 odds on the over and -120 on the under. The prediction here is that the Yankees win.
Yankees vs. Cardinals Prediction
Starting pitchers: RHP Luis Severino (1-2, 5.25 ERA) vs. LHP Matthew Liberatore (1-2, 5.60 ERA)
The Yankees are understandably not the same offense without reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge. They have just a 77 wRC+ (28th in the league) since Judge went on the IL on June 3. Prior to Judge’s injury, their wRC+ was 102 (13th).
But one thing the Yankees’ offense has still been able to do without Judge is hit the ball well against lefties. Before Judge went on the IL, they had an identical 102 wRC+ against both lefties and righties. Since June 4, however, their wRC+ against lefties is 108 (4th best) and against righties it’s plummeted to 69 (dead last).
Tonight the Yankees face a rookie lefty in Matthew Liberatore, a former 16th overall pick by the Rays in 2018 who has struggled in his opportunities in the majors. He has posted a 6.06 ERA in June with just a 3/2 K/BB ratio while allowing a .314 batting average. Expect him to get into some trouble tonight against this Yankees lineup, even without Judge.
The Cardinals have had the better offense overall this season, and especially in the month of June. Yankees starter Luis Severino has not looked great so far this season, but he showed signs of turning things around in his last outing when he threw six shutout innings against the Rangers, arguably the league’s best lineup.
I trust the Cardinals’ lineup over the Yankees’, but I trust the Yankees’ pitching over the Cardinals’. If the Yankees can find success against the lefty Liberatore and give Severino a lead, the veteran starter and New York’s superior bullpen should be enough for them to get the W.
Yankees vs. Cardinals Prediction: Yankees moneyline (-105)
Yankees vs. Cardinals Odds
Over at DraftKings, the Yankees opened as slight underdogs on the road at +105 on the moneyline, while the Cardinals were at -125. That line has since flipped between the Yankees and Cardinals being favored, but as of this writing the Cardinals are favored with -115 odds while the Yankees are at -105.
The run line has the Cardinals at -1.5 (+165) and the Yankees getting +1.5 at -200 odds.
The total opened at 9 at DraftKings and moved up to 9.5 with +100 odds on the over and -120 on the under.
Yankees vs. Cardinals Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Yankees vs. Cardinals.
Matthew Liberatore vs. (almost) All Righties
The Yankees’ above-mentioned splits against lefties are not surprising considering their lineup is so dominated by right-handed hitters. Among their everyday players, only Anthony Rizzo and Jake Bauers hit from the left side, and Bauers is unlikely to start against a lefty pitcher.
The Bronx Bombers need to take advantage of their matchup with the inexperienced and struggling rookie lefty they are facing. If they can score a few early runs on Liberatore, they will have a big advantage in this matchup.
The Yankees’ splits against lefties is the main reason I picked them in my Yankees vs. Cardinals prediction.
The Yankees’ superior bullpen is the other reason I am leaning towards New York in this game. The Yankees’ relievers have posted the best combined ERA in baseball this season at 2.82. They are also 5th in FIP (3.66) and 7th in xFIP (3.91).
The Cardinals also have a solid bullpen that has posted a 3.96 FIP (12th) and 4.01 xFIP (11th). They have struggled over the last month, however, with marks of 4.66 (25th) and 4.29 (20th), while New York has remained in the top 5.
If this game is close and late, the Yankees should have the advantage on the mound, and that could be enough to swing the outcome.
Yankees vs. Cardinals Starting Lineups (Projected)
Yankees Starting Lineup
2B DJ LeMahieu (R)
DH Gleyber Torres (R)
1B Anthony Rizzo (L)
RF Giancarlo Stanton (R)
CF Harrison Bader (R)
3B Josh Donaldson (R)
LF Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)
SS Anthony Volpe (R)
C Jose Trevino (R)
Cardinals Starting Lineup
LF Brendan Donovan (L)
1B Paul Goldschmidt (R)
CF Lars Nootbaar (L)
3B Nolan Arenado (R)
C Willson Contreras (R)
2B Nolan Gorman (L)
DH Alec Burleson (L)
RF Dylan Carlson (S)
SS Tommy Edman (S)