The New York Yankees (62-67) hoped to be working toward a division title at this point in the year, but instead they’ll kick off a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers (59-70) on Monday night just playing out the string of a lost 2023 season. First pitch from Comerica Park is set for 6:40 p.m. ET. New York will once again try to get struggling righty Luis Severino (3-8, 7.26 ERA) on track, while the Tigers give the ball to rookie Reese Olson (2-5, 5.29).
Detroit enters as narrow -120 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Tigers at +100. The run total is set at 8.5.
Yankees-Tigers picks: Monday, August 28
Out: 1B Anthony Rizzo (post-concussion symptoms), OF Billy McKinney (back), SP Nestor Cortes (rotator cuff), 3B Josh Donaldson (calf)
Day to day: SP Matt Manning (back)
Out: RP Mason Englert (hip)
Luis Severino vs. Reese Olson
It’s hard to imagine a worse contract year for Severino, who missed most of the first half with a shoulder injury and then has been among the worst starters in baseball upon returning to action. The once-reliable righty has made it through five innings just three times in the last two months, with a 6.45 mark in four outings in August. He did allow just one hit across 6.2 shutout innings against the Nationals last time out, but it came with just two strikeouts and a lot of batted-ball luck — he’s still a long way away from the near-ace he was even just last season.
Olson’s had a very up-and-down first season in the Majors, but he’s offered glimpses of upside that suggest he could be a rotation fixture for Detroit moving forward. The 24-year-old has struggled to a 6.87 ERA this month, but that did include six innings of shutout ball with eight Ks against the Twins a couple of weeks ago. The righty has struck out a batter an inning, and his slider carries an eye-popping 41.7% whiff rate — among the best of any starter in the bigs. Finding a second offering has been the challenge, though, and is the main reason why he’s allowed at least four runs in five of his last six starts.
The Yankees have been dreadful against righty pitching of late — worst team OPS and highest K rate in the Majors over the last two weeks — but the Tigers pack a sneaky punch with Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson and Kerry Carpenter in the middle of their lineup, and both Severino and Olson have been awfully shaky. I’m betting on each team scoring just enough to push us over this mark, which Detroit has cleared in five of its last seven.
Pick: Over 8.5
As strange as it is to say, Olson presents a far higher ceiling than Severino in this matchup, as his slider could carve up a Yankees lineup that’s had no answers for righty breaking stuff even with Aaron Judge back in the fold. It’s almost impossible to trust Severino to even keep New York competitive at this point — it’s basically just a hope that his balls in play will find gloves more often than not — so I’ll back Detroit as the more consistent team of late with near-even odds.
Pick: Tigers -120