L.A. Angels @ NY Yankees
NY Yankees -1 +115 over L.A. Angels

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Posted at 10:30 AM EST and are subject to change.

NY Yankees -1½ +115 over L.A. Angels

7:05 PM EST. It wasn’t all that long ago that Nestor Cortes (LHP - NYY) was just a guy. Some back-of-the-roster filler, a pitcher in his mid-20s who was already on his third organization in three years. He was described as a pitcher who absolutely needed deception and the disruption of a batter’s rhythm to succeed even the little bit he had managed. You can’t blame any of his scouting reports for not thinking all that much of him, either. Cortes was fringe in every sense of things, and also posted a 6.72 ERA over 79 MLB innings from 2018 through 2020.

And now here he is in 2022, an anchor in the Yankees’ rotation—a seemingly key piece for the organization that originally drafted him back in 2013, lost him to the Rule 5 draft, had him returned, then traded him to the Mariners before re-signing him as a free agent a season later. Cortes has gone from that life to one as one of three pitchers to log at least 11 strikeouts in multiple games in this young campaign, along with Shohei Ohtani and Eric Lauer, and had a no-hitter going against the Rangers into the eighth inning very recently. He probably wasn’t going to finish it off even without the Eli White single that ended his run, since he was lifted after a season-high 103 pitches, but still. Hard to not be impressed by 7.1 frames with just the one hit and 11 strikeouts to go with it.

Cortes’ success didn’t just begin this spring, either. He thrived as a reliever for a month from the end of May through June last season, allowing just two earned runs in that time while striking out 25 over 17.2 frames. The Yankees slotted Cortes into the rotation in July, and he responded by continuing to pitch notably well: sure, the numbers weren’t quite as good as they had been in relief, but they got a 3.07 ERA out of him over 14 starts, and while the homer rate was still higher than you’d like, it was also down a dinger per nine from where it was in the before times.

The long ball has been a non-factor in Cortes’ first nine starts, with just four allowed so far, and the strikeouts have only gone up in ways no one scouting his performances just a few years ago would have ever dreamed of. The lefty has punched out 61 batters in 53 innings, and his performance of the last year has brought those ugly early numbers down to the point where, for his career, Cortes has now been a league-average arm over 204 innings of work. It’s unclear if he’ll be quite this good going forward, but what is obvious is that he’s a different pitcher than he used to be, and those career numbers are only going to keep improving from here on out.

Reid Detmers (LHP - LAA) is enjoying a solid season in 2022, including a no-hitter on May 10th, but his skills lend his overall outlook an air of disappointment. His xERA is 4.65 xERA. His 0.89 WHIP has received serious help from a very low hit rate, thus, we can expect both hit% and WHIP to regress going forward, which will cut into his ERA.

Detmers' K% in the minors in 2021 was good but there's been no sign of that skill so far in the majors. His swing and miss rate is below league average in 2021, and now it has gone backward in 2022, and he only has one pitch that's consistently generating an elite (or even above-average) swinging strike rate: his change-up, which is his least-used pitch (9.0% usage in 2022), has an 18.4% swing and miss rate. His curveball is supposed to be his best pitch, and while he's throwing it a good amount (23.9% usage in 2022), he's only managed an 11% swing and miss rate with it so far in the majors.

Detmers' improbable no-hitter was followed up by a disaster and another disaster. His fly-ball rate of 47% (58% last game) is tailor-made for the Yankees to take him to town and that’s precisely how we’re going to play it.

Our Pick

NY Yankees -1 +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)