It may be too little, too late for their playoff hopes, but New York Yankees (65-68) will look to polish off a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers (59-74) all the same on Thursday afternoon. First pitch from Comerica Park is set for 1:10 p.m. ET. Righty Clarke Schmidt (8-8, 4.51 ERA) will take the mound for New York while Detroit counters with Matt Manning (5-4, 3.93).
The Yankees enter as -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Tigers at +110. The run total is set at 9.
Yankees-Tigers picks: Thursday, August 31
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)
Clarke Schmidt vs. Matt Manning
Not much has gone right for New York’s rotation this season, but Schmidt has been just about everything the team could’ve hoped for from its fifth starter. The righty just fired 6.2 innings of one-run ball against the Rays last weekend and has a 4-1 record with a 3.20 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 39.1 innings across all of his second-half starts that haven’t come against the Braves. Left-handed hitters were a problem for him earlier in the season, but he’s largely solved that riddle, and he’s now allowed three or fewer starts in all but five of his 27 appearances.
Opposing Schmidt will be Manning, bumped back a day after leaving his last start early due to a back flareup. The righty sounds like he’s okay to have something like a normal workload this afternoon, and he’s pitched well of late, with one earned run allowed across 17.2 frames and a quality start against the difficult Astros last time out. Don’t expect a ton of Ks, but this Yankees lineup has been much worse against righties than lefties, and Manning could make this work if he has his best slider.
None of the three previous games in this series have hit this number — yesterday’s 6-2 final came the closest — and I’m backing the under again on Thursday afternoon. New York has been one of the very worst offenses in baseball this month against right-handed pitching, and Detroit hasn’t scored more than four runs in a game since August 22. With two sturdy if unspectacular starters on the mound, we should see a relatively low-scoring affair.
Pick: Under 9
Schmidt and Manning have both been solid this season, but Schmidt’s been a bit more reliable, and for as much as this Yankees offense has struggled of late (especially against righties) it’s hard not to give the edge to the team that has Aaron Judge in its lineup. Manning’s top-line numbers have been a bit fluky, and I think New York will score just enough to carry another solid Schmidt start to a win.
Pick: Yankees -130