The best pitcher for the New York Yankees is on the mound Friday night when the Bombers host the Chicago White Sox. That pitcher is not named Gerrit Cole. It's Nestor Cortes, who has put together a streak of dominance that Cole could only hope for. The Yankees took three of four at the White Sox last weekend and are -190 favorites at Caesars Sportsbook for Friday – note that -190 is by far the lowest price of any major book listed at SportsLine; the others have NYY at least -220. (See tickets at StubHub)
Cole has the biggest overall contract for a pitcher in MLB history at $324 million, is making $36 million this year and is a +700 third favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award. The 31-year-old Cole has nice numbers at 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
The lefty Cortes, 27, is 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA this season that leads the majors and a 0.85 WHIP that is third. He is making $727,500 and is +1200 to win the Cy Young Award. Last Sunday in Chicago, Cortes dominated the White Sox in a victory, allowing one run and three hits over eight with no walks and seven strikeouts. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all seven starts. Batters are hitting just .164 off him.
Since the start of last season, Cortes' ERA of 2.44 is the third-lowest in the majors (minimum 100 innings pitched), and he has allowed three earned or fewer in 16 consecutive starts, tied with Luis Severino (2018 season) for the second-longest streak in franchise history by a Yankees starting pitcher. Russ Ford holds the record of 20 in a row (1910-11).
Nestor Cortes, who bounced around among the Orioles, Yankees and Mariners from 2018-20, has a longer such streak than the likes of Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, Andy Pettitte, and Roger Clemens to name a few. Baseball is a funny game.
New York enters Friday having won nine straight series, tied for its longest such streak since 1955. The franchise record of 10 in a row was set last year. The Yanks have lost only one of their 12 series. They come into tonight off a loss in Baltimore on Thursday and have lost back-to-back games just once this year: April 10-11.
Lefty Dallas Keuchel (2-3, 5.54) is on the bump for the White Sox. The former Cy Young winner was not good early this season but has been much better of late. He took a no-decision last Saturday against the Yankees, throwing five shutout innings. Keuchel is 2-3 with a 2.43 ERA in six career regular-season starts at Yankee Stadium. Perhaps consider a Giancarlo Stanton prop, as he's 6-for-11 career off Keuchel with two homers and five RBIs. Stanton homered in Thursday's loss to the Orioles. He is the overall betting favorite for all players to homer tonight at +265.
The White Sox have lost 10 of their last 12 vs. the Yankees.
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