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Picks, predictions for Yankees vs. Orioles on Friday, July 28

Chris Landers shares their top picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for Yankees-Orioles on Friday, July 28.

Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 22, 2023 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The New York Yankees (54-48) look to stay afloat in the AL Wild Card race as they head down I-95 for a huge weekend series against the division-leading Baltimore Orioles (62-40). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards. The Yankees will have ace Gerrit Cole (9-2, 2.78 ERA) on the mound, while the O’s hand the ball to top prospect Grayson Rodriguez (2-2, 6.91).

After salvaging a split of the two-game Subway Series this week, New York has now won four of five to remain just two back in the loss column of the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final AL Wild Card spot — though they remain in dead last in the AL East. After a weekend in Baltimore, the divisional gauntlet continues back home in the Bronx with a showdown against the Tampa Bay Rays.

A 14-8 July suddenly has Baltimore boasting the best record in the AL, three up in the loss column on the Tampa Bay Rays in the East. They’ll also be remaining in the division after this weekend, heading north of the border for four huge games against the Jays in Toronto.

New York enters as -125 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the O’s narrow +105 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.

Yankees-Orioles picks: Friday, July 28

Injury report


Day to day: OF Aaron Judge (toe)
Out: SP Nestor Cortes (shoulder), 3B Josh Donaldson (calf), RP Jonathan Loaisiga (elbow)


Day to day: 3B/SS Gunnar Henderson
Out: OF Cedric Mullins (groin), OF Aaron Hicks (hamstring), RP Austin Voth (elbow), RP Keegan Akin (back)

Starting pitchers

Gerrit Cole vs. Grayson Rodriguez

Amid near-constant flux this season, Cole has been the Yankees’ great constant, taking the ball every fifth day and just about always giving New York a chance to win. The AL Cy Young candidate has allowed more than three runs just twice in 21 starts, failing to complete six innings only five times — a more or less guaranteed quality start every time he takes the rubber. His fastball velocity is down a bit, and he’s not generating as many swings and misses as he did during his Astros days, but he remains among the most bankable starters in baseball. He dominated the Kansas City Royals last time out, striking out 11 over 6.1 innings of two-run ball.

After entering the season as baseball’s top pitching prospect, Rodriguez got off to a disastrous start to his Major League career, eventually being sent back down to Triple-A after a series of rough outings in May. He dominated in the Minors, though, and has looked much better since returning to the O’s rotation a couple of weeks ago. He allowed four runs in five-plus innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in an outing that was far better than the stat line suggests — most of the damage came via inherited runners in the sixth inning — and he held the Rays to two runs over 5.2 innings while striking out six last time out.

Over/Under pick

I’m a believer in Rodriguez despite his ugly top-line numbers; he was among the most highly-regarded pitching prospects in recent memory for a reason, and he’s looked far better in his second go-round in the Majors. There’s a chance Aaron Judge makes his long-awaited return from a toe injury on Friday night, but that’s still very much up in the air, and even if he does, I’m not sure he’s enough to fix an ailing Yankees offense that’s been among the league’s worst for the past two months. Given Cole’s consistency on the other side — and how pitcher-friendly the new Camden Yards is — I’m expecting a relatively low-scoring affair.

Pick: Under 8.5

Moneyline pick

I get it, Cole is Cole, but it’s worth noting that the Yankees are just 4-4 over his last eight starts. That’s obviously not the righty’s fault — the bullpen and lineup are to blame for most of it — but the O’s have looked like a much better and deeper team of late, and with a revived Rodriguez on the mound, I’m happy to take them as home underdogs tonight.

Pick: Orioles