The New York Yankees have been treading water lately, as they play through some injuries and possibly a degree of complacency. Now New York, after just completing a nine-game homestand, takes its act on the road, starting with four games in Detroit vs. the Tigers beginning today. Finding themselves as heavy dogs in the series opener, will the Yankees find their way into our MLB picks tonight, or will Justin Verlander hand them another loss?

Setting the Scene

New York just took two of three games from Seattle over the weekend, winning a rubber match Sunday 6-2. But that just got the Yanks to 4-5 for their just-completed homestand, and they’re 11-11 since the All-Star break.

So the Yankees lead in the AL East sits at 6.5 games over second-place Baltimore heading into this week, and they’re tied with Texas for the best record in the American League.

Detroit, meanwhile, just swept three games at home from Cleveland, outscoring the Indians 26-11. The Tigers completed the sweep Sunday by rallying for five runs in the bottom of the tenth with two outs and nobody on, the winning runs scoring on a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera, for a 10-8 victory.

So Detroit, which has won 14 of its last 15 home games, trails first-place Chicago by a game and a half in the AL Central. But the Tigers have also taken over one of the two AL Wild-Card spots from the Angels.

The Pitching Matchups

The Yankees will send Ivan Nova (10-5, 4.53) to the mound for Monday’s series opener, Phil Hughes (11-8, 3.96) Tuesday, CC Sabathia (11-3, 3.53) Wednesday and Hiroki Kuroda (10-8, 3.19) Thursday.

The Tigers will counter with reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander (11-7, 2.63), Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.65), newly acquired Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 4.50) and Doug Fister (6-7, 3.52).

As of Monday morning most online sportsbooks were listing Detroit and Big V as favorites of around -165 for Monday night’s game, with an ‘over/under’ of eight.

New York has won both its games vs. Verlander this season. Also, the Yanks lead the season series with Detroit four games to two.

Free MLB Picks

The Yankees have had some success against Verlander, and they’re getting a decent price for Monday’s game. The other three pitching matchups for this series look pretty even. We’d lean toward the underdog, whoever it is, for each of these four games.