Yankees vs. Pirates Tuesday MLB odds, trends, pick: New York unbeaten following day off this season, Pittsburgh winless

Both the Yankees and Pirates were off on July 4. Here's why that hugely benefits New York tonight in Pittsburgh.
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I honestly thought every MLB team always played on the July 4 holiday, but neither the New York Yankees nor Pittsburgh Pirates did Monday. The two teams open a series Tuesday at stellar PNC Park. Believe it or not, the Yankees have not lost this season following a day off and the Pirates haven't won. New York is a -195 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook.

Two very memorable events happened in Yankee history on July 4: In 1984, Dave Righetti threw a no-hitter in a 4-0 win vs. Boston, and in 1939 Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day was held at the original Yankee Stadium. During the ceremony, Gehrig delivers his memorable "Luckiest Man" speech. More than a few Yankees said it felt "weird" the team didn't play July 4 this year, but oddly it also didn't play on Memorial Day. After 20 games in 20 days, the team was grateful for the break.

Meanwhile, it was just the fifth time since joining the National League in 1887 that the Pirates didn't play on the holiday. They didn't in 2020 due to COVID, and before that the team had the day off in 1994 due to a rainout.

The Yankees are 10-0 following an off day this season and the Pirates are 0-11. New York last had one Friday in Cleveland due to a rainout and then swept a doubleheader on Saturday. Pittsburgh was last off on Thursday, June 16, and lost the next day 2-0 at home to San Francisco.

It's former Pirate Jameson Taillon on the mound Tuesday for New York. He was acquired from Pittsburgh on January 2021 for pitching prospects Miguel Yajure (Yankees' No. 15 prospect at the time) Roansy Contreras (No. 19), outfield prospect Canaan Smith (No. 21) and shortstop prospect Maikol Escotto (unranked). Contreras is with the Bucs currently and having a very solid season.

Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft (Bryce Harper was No. 1), is 9-1 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 15 starts. He hasn't personally lost since his first start of the season on April 11 vs. Toronto and is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA on the road. It's his first career look at his former team. When Taillon starts, the team is 13-2 and +696 on the year with a $100 wager on each game.

Former Yankees farmhand and lefty Jose Quintana (1-4, 3.43 ERA) is on the bump for the Bucs. He'll probably be traded by the Aug. 2 deadline as there's no point in Pittsburgh keeping him past then, as Quintana isn't part of the team's future. He is 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA in six career appearances and five starts against New York. The Pirates are 7-8 in Quintana's starts this year but +153 on a $100 wager on each because they are always underdogs.  

MLB free pick: Yankees -195

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