Exhale, Yankees fans. For the first time this season, Carlos Rodon will toe the rubber for the New York Yankees, a start six months in the making. After missing the start of the season with a left elbow strain and back stiffness, Rodon, who signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees, will make his season debut against the Cubs on Friday. The Cubs will counter with former Yankees starter Jameson Taillon (2-6, 6.93 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
The Yankees are -165 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Cubs are +140 underdogs. The total is set at 8.
Cubs-Yankees picks: Friday, July 7
Day-to-day: SS Dansby Swanson (left heel contusion)
Out: INF Nick Madrigal (right hamstring tightness)
Out: OF Jake Bauers (bruised left rotator cuff), SP Nestor Cortes (left rotator cuff strain), OF Aaron Judge (right great toe sprain), OF Willie Calhoun (left quad strain), OF Greg Allen (right hip flexor strain)
Jameson Taillon vs. Carlos Rodon
After spending two seasons with the Yankees, Taillon signed a four-year, $68 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason. That hasn’t looked like the best investment on the Cubs part, however, as Taillon has posted a 6.93 ERA through his first 14 starts with the club. Taillon has allowed at least three runs in his last five starts. He had a 3.38 ERA in 31 starts at Yankee Stadium during his Yankee tenure.
The last time we saw Rodon on the mound, he had an ERA below three and was a NL CY Young candidate with the San Francisco Giants. He’ll be on a pitch count (likely around 75 pitches), so I can’t see him going more than five innings. He went five innings in his season debuts in ‘21 and ‘22.
I’m taking the over. Not only is there some uncertainty surrounding Rodon’s effectiveness (and it’s not like Taillon has looked like an ace this year), but both these teams have this over in four of their last five games. It should be a high-scoring game.
Pick: Over 8
Yesterday, the Yankees suffered an embarrassing 14-1 loss at the hands of the Orioles, and have gone 12-14 since Aaron Judge got hurt. They’re a top-heavy team with flaws, and I think those flaws will be on display today.