After yet another dispiriting loss on Tuesday night, the New York Yankees are on the verge of making some history — and not the good kind. The Yankees (60-65) will look to avoid the franchise’s first 10-game losing streak in over a century when they take on the Washington Nationals (58-68) in the second game of a three-game set on Wednesday. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. Lefty MacKenzie Gore will go for the Nats while Luis Severino gets yet another chance to turn his miserable year around for New York.
Despite their losing streak, the Yankees enter as -148 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Washington at +124. The run total is set at 8.5.
Nationals-Yankees picks: Wednesday, August 23rd
Out: SP Nestor Cortes (shoulder), 1B Anthony Rizzo (concussion)
Out: RP Carl Edwards Jr. (shoulder), RP Thaddeus Ward (shoulder), RP Tanner Rainey (elbow), OF Victor Robles (back), RHP Rico Garcia (bicep)
MacKenzie Gore vs. Luis Severino
Gore is coming off arguably his best start of the season, throwing 6.1 innings of one-hit ball with seven strikeouts against the Boston Red Sox last week. The former top prospect has had a bit of an up-and-down season, but he’s shown the upside that made him one of the centerpieces of the Juan Soto trade last year (141 strikeouts in 123.1 innings). His command remains inconsistent, but when he’s keeping his fastball elevated and spotting his curveball and slider he looks like a future frontline starter.
It’s hard to overstate just how nightmarish Severino’s 2023 season has been — in a contract year, no less. The righty missed most of the first half with shoulder problems, and while he looked like his old self in his first couple of starts back, the wheels came off almost immediately thereafter: Severino’s ERA over his last eight appearances is a whopping 11.08, with a seemingly impossible 58 hits and 39 earned runs allowed in just 31.2 innings pitched. He was among the most consistent pitchers in the game when healthy over the last few years, but that guy is long gone now.
This is a tough one to navigate. On the one hand, Gore is throwing the ball very well right now, and the Yankees haven’t been able to hit their way out of a paper bag of late (29th in team OPS over the last two weeks). On the other hand, Severino has allowed five runs or more four times in his last eight starts, so there’s a chance that the Nats might get most of the way to this over all by themselves. Washington has been far worse against righties than lefties, though, and I’m banking on Gore pitching well enough to keep us just under this total after a 2-1 final yesterday.
Pick: Under 8.5
Frankly, it boggles the mind that the Yankees are substantial favorites here. This losing streak isn’t a fluke: This is just a very bad baseball team, and they’ll have among the worst pitchers in baseball taking the mound for them tonight. Maybe pride will help them rise up and avoid a double-digit losing streak, but with this much juice, how can you not back a Nationals team that’s 8-2 in their last 10?
Pick: Nationals +124