After the Minnesota Twins pummeled them with a nine-run first inning in the series opener on Thursday night, the New York Yankees will be out for revenge in the second game of this four-game weekend set at Yankee Stadium. Luckily, they’ll be sending Nestor Cortes (2-0, 2.61 ERA) to the mound, while the Twins will call up Louie Varland from Triple-A to make his first start of the season as Kenta Maeda battles arm fatigue. First pitch from the Bronx is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Yankees are currently -180 favorites on the moneyline at Draftkings Sportsbook, while the Twins are +155 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Twins-Yankees picks: Friday, April 14th
Out: 1B Alex Kirilloff (wrist), 1B Joey Gallo (ribs), 2B Jorge Polanco (knee), INF Kyle Farmer (face), OF Max Kepler (knee)
Day to day: INF DJ LeMahieu (quad)
Out: 3B Josh Donaldson (hamstring), CF Harrison Bader (oblique), RP Jonathan Loaisiga (elbow), RP Lou Trivino (elbow)
Louie Varland vs. Nestor Cortes
With the Twins skipping Kenta Maeda’s turn in the rotation due to arm fatigue as he comes back from Tommy John surgery, Minnesota has recalled the 25-year-old righty Varland from Triple-A St. Paul. He made his MLB debut last year and was solid over five starts, posting a 3.81 ERA. One of those starts came at Yankee Stadium, where he acquitted himself well with just two runs allowed and seven strikeouts over 5.1 innings.
Cortes seems to be over the hamstring issue that slowed him this spring and ready to pick up where he left off last year. The crafty lefty threw five innings of one-run ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in his first start of 2023, then backed that up with two runs over 5.1 innings in another win against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. The Twins have roughed him up a bit in his career, though: He has a 4.35 career ERA against Minnesota in five appearances (three starts).
Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa returned last night and Max Kepler could be back as soon as today from his knee injury, as the Twins lineup finally starts to resemble full strength. The Yankees should fare against Varland having seen him once before, and after getting embarrassed last night in an 11-2 loss they’ll want to get out to a fast start on Friday.
Pick: Over 8.5
This comes down to trusting Cortes a bit more. The lefty doesn’t have his A-plus stuff just yet, but he knows how to get outs and give New York at least five solid innings.