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July 20th 2014 - Posted at 11:00 AM ET

Monday's picks will be posted at 3:00 PM ET.

Take NY Yankees (-120) on the Money Line against Cincinnati Reds risking 2%
(Kuroda and Cueto must start)

The New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds face off on this afternoon as they close out their series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees got a quality start from their newest pitcher, Brandon McCarthy, in yesterday’s game and are hoping they will get the same kind of production from veteran hurler Hiroki Kuroda this afternoon. Kuroda is having a decent season but it's apparent that age is starting to take its toll on the right hander. He has shown that he can be dominant in the confines of Yankee Stadium however. In his last 3 home starts he has a very respectable 2.18 ERA. Despite his age, Kuroda does still have some velocity on his pitches and we have seen him pitch lights out in a few starts this season. With the Reds offense once again struggling, Kuroda should be able to keep the Cincinnati bats fairly quiet.

The Reds will counter with Johnny Cueto this afternoon. There is not a lot that needs to be said about Cueto. He has pitched well, however he does own a 10-6 record on the season despite a respectable 2.13 ERA. That goes to show that the Reds have not always shown up and backed their "Ace" when he has taken the mound. Cueto has also been more "hittable" in his recent starts, it may be a sign that the excessive amount of innings he has been pitching are starting to catch up with him. He has given up a total of 8 earned runs over his last 3 starts. While that is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, it isn't something we are used to seeing from him. Also these runs have come against the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, three teams who are not necessarily known for their powerful hitting or explosive offenses. Against the Yankees, who are seeing and hitting the ball well, Cueto will need to navigate the lineup carefully or he could be hit hard this afternoon. 

The New York Yankees have completely dominated this series thus far and have done so with a solid combination of both pitching and hitting. The Yankees have had their way with National League teams recently having gone 6-1 in their last 7 interleague games, heading into this afternoon's contest. It's clear that the Reds are missing key pieces in their offense in Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. After having recent success with their bats prior to the break, it appears that the Reds have regressed back to their type of inconsistent offense and that could cause them issues this afternoon.

Cueto is dangerous on the mound but the Reds have consistently let him down this season with their inability to provide run support. We don't see the Reds offense being able to take advantage of Kuroda either, who has been solid at home. There's a reason why the Reds and Cueto are underdogs in this contest. Cueto may even pitch well but we expect the Yankees to come up with timely hits and get their offense going. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Cincinnati is just 3-7 in interleague games this season!
  • Yankees are 4-2 in their last 6 games when against Cincinnati when playing in New York.
  • Yankees are 11-5 in their last 16 games as a favorite.

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