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MLB Yankees at Twins

April 09, 2007

MLB Baseball - New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins 8:00 PM ET

Carl Pavano of the YankeesCarl Pavano hasn't pitched in the majors since June 27, 2005, due to a variety of injuries, leaving many fans and even some teammates to question his desire.

Pavano could not hold a 3-1 lead in the 5th inning in opening day assignment and manager Joe Torre is looking for more. "We need the starters to give us six innings," said the Yankee skipper. "We know we are a better team than we've shown." Itís only one of 26 grueling weeks in the season, but fans and bettors of the Bronx Bombers canít be happy with 2-3 home record against two of the worst teams in the AL East in Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

Minnesota is picking up right where they left off after being Central division champs a season ago. Sweeping Baltimore at home and splitting with the White Sox in bitterly cold Chicago has the Twins feeling chipper.

Minnesota caught a bit of a break with Yanks left fielder Hideki Matsui out after he was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained left hamstring.

Manager Ron Gardenhire knows there is still plenty of lumber in the Bronx Bombers line-up. "No matter if it's Matsui or not, they'll have another great hitter in there," Gardenhire said. "Believe me, it's the Yankees. They've got a bunch of good baseball players. When Cano is hitting like eighth, that's a good lineup. Doug Mientkiewicz is hitting ninth, and he hit third for me. That tells you a little about the Yankees lineup."

Sidney Ponson will make his Twins debut after being pushed back day. The Minnesota coaching staff has been working on him keeping the ball down and focus pitch by pitch to avoid disastrous big innings. Ponson himself has been working on keeping weight down. The nine-year veteran right-hander is 6-12 with a 4.63 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.

New York opens as -125 money line favorite with a total of 10.5 at The Yankees are 35-16 (+14.2 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscoring opposition by 0.5 or more runs a game on the season. Minnesota counters with 26-8 record against the ML in home games after allowing 2 runs or less over the last two seasons.

Totals players should be aware New York is 22-10 OVER after a loss by 2 runs or less and Ponson is 26-12 OVER in April games for the various teams he has played for.

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