Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Pick (6/30/18)
Time: 7:15 PM ET
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Location: New York, New York
Moneyline: Boston (-140) / New York (+120)
The Boston Red Sox take on their abhorrent nemesis in game two of a three-game set Saturday night at Yankee Stadium in a nationally televised game on FOX. It’ll be the eighth meeting of the year between the bitter rivals, with the Yankees up 4-3 in the series thus far despite being outscored 41-38 by the Red Sox. In last night’s series opener, C.C. Sabathia (5-3, 3.02 ERA & 1.24 WHIP) earned his fifth win of the season in a dominant 8-1 victory over the Red Sox. He allowed one earned run in seven innings of efficient work, striking out five while giving up just one free pass on 97 pitches. Three Yankees accounted for four homers against Boston’s arms: Greg Bird (2), Miguel Andujar (1) and Aaron Judge (1). Taking the loss was Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3, 4.11 ERA & 1.30 WHIP). Rodriguez records back-to-back losses for the first time this season as he allowed five earned runs over six frames, including two long-balls to the high-octane Yankee offense. At this juncture of the season, the Yankees lead the League in winning percentage but remain deadlocked with the Red Sox atop the American League East Standings.
Smooth Sailing for Boston
Despite the 8-1 trouncing at the hands of the Yankees last night, the Red Sox are humming right along approaching the All-Star break this season. Boston’s compiled a 55-28 (.663) record thus far, including a 27-16 (.628) mark on the road. The Red Sox are second in the League in runs scored (427) and run differential (+118). Two potential MVP candidates lead Their prolific offense: Mookie Betts (.339, 20 HR, 41 RBI & .426 OBP) and J.D. Martinez (.321, 25 HR, 64 RBI & .389 OBP). Boston’s arms aren’t too shabby either, allowing just 309 runs this season (T-6th in MLB). Looking to tie the season series with the Yankees and take the lead in the American League East Standings, Boston’s giving the ball to their ace: Chris Sale.
Sale (7-4, 2.56 ERA & 0.93 WHIP) has been great as of late. In his last three starts, the lanky lefty is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. On April 20th, Sale got the victory against this very same Yankee club: 14-1. He allowed one run over six frames, striking out eight and giving up zero walks. In his career versus the Yankees, Sale is 5-4 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.
Bronx Bombers tee-off
The Yankees are the most dominant team in the League this year at home, having compiled a 30-11 (.732) record at Yankee Stadium. Overall, the Bronx Bombers are 53-26 (.671) and firmly cemented as one of the Top three teams in the League up to this point. New York ranks third in the League in runs scored (406) and run differential (+112). Their pitching staff has been sensational as well, allowing the second-fewest runs in the Majors (294). Aaron Boone’s bunch is led by the big bats of: Aaron Judge (.276, 21 HR & 54 RBI), Giancarlo Stanton (.263, 19 HR & 46 RBI) and Didi Gregorius (.259, 15 HR & 43 RBI). After trouncing the Red Sox last night to open the three-game series, the Yankees give the ball to Sonny Gray hoping to continue the momentum.
Gray (5-5, 4.93 ERA & 1.44 WHIP) hasn’t been outstanding lately. In his last three starts, he’s 1-1 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. The 28-year-old Vanderbilt product will toe the rubber for the second time against Boston this season. On April 12th, things didn’t go according to plan as Gray lasted only three innings in a 6-3 loss at Fenway Park. Gray threw 68 pitches and allowed six earned runs in the defeat. Things haven’t been too “sunny” over the years for Gray when facing the Red Sox. In his career, Gray is 1-5 with a 6.05 ERA and 1.37 WHIP versus Boston.
It’s hard to imagine a team that’s won 73.2% of their home games is an underdog, but that’s the case here in this Red Sox/Yankees clash. Despite owning the best home record in the League, the oddsmakers are pinning the Bronx Bombers as the dog at +120. I think they’re right that Boston (-140) is the favorite with the lopsided pitching duel (Sale vs. Gray). Sale is a bonafide ace who has been stellar lately and in his career against the Pinstripes. On the other hand, Gray has been shaky lately and has been pitiful in his career against the Red Sox. With the line at -140, we need to win this bet 58.3% of the time to be profitable. I think Boston wins this matchup 80% of the time, so there’s tremendous value in taking the Red Sox to win straight up. With an edge of 21.7% against the number, take Sale and the Sox on the money line for the win.