New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox Pick
The Red Sox shoot for what could be a spirit-killing sweep of the rival Yankees Sunday night at Fenway Park (8:05 ET, ESPN). How am I playing this game with my daily free MLB picks?
Sunday’s MLB betting odds opened Boston and David Price at around -125 over New York and Masahiro Tanaka, with an over/under of 9 runs. The Sox could also be found getting around +150 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Boston has taken the first three games of this four-game series by scores of 15-7 Thursday, 4-1 Friday and Saturday 4-1. So the Sox have outscored the Yankees this weekend 23-9.
With Saturday’s victory Boston is 22-5 over its last 27 games. It’s also a NL-best 41-15 at home this season.
New York, on the other hand, now owns a season-worst four-game losing streak.
Big-picture, at 78-34 overall Boston leads the AL East by 8.5 games over 68-41 New York, and leads Houston by seven games in the battle for the best record in Baseball.
The Yankees, however, still lead the American League wild-card race by 3.5 games over second-place Oakland and six games over third-place Seattle.
Boston now leads this season series seven games to five.
On the personnel front New York is without slugger Aaron Judge, who’s on the DL with a broken bone in his wrist, while the Red Sox just placed recently acquired 2B Ian Kinsler on the DL with a bad hamstring.
Lefty Price (11-6, 3.97), by our strict standards, is 11/20 on quality starts this season, and three for his last three. Last Monday he held Philadelphia to one run on eight hits through eight innings of a 2-1 Boston victory, and over his last three starts he’s allowed just four runs through 21 innings. The Red Sox are 15-6 with Price this season, 4-0 over his last four starts, with the unders going 11-9.
However, in two starts this season against the Yankees Price has been tagged for 12 runs and 12 hits, including six home runs, through just 4 1/3 innings. Boston lost both those games, and both games played over their totals.
Tanaka (9-2, 3.84) is 9/17 on quality starts this year, and also three for his last three. Tuesday he held Baltimore scoreless on three hits through six innings of a 6-3 New York victory, and over his last three starts he’s allowed just two runs and 12 hits through 21 1/3 innings, with 22 strikeouts. The Yankees are 12-5 with Tanaka this season, with the overs going 10-7.
In two starts this season against the Red Sox Tanaka has been touched for 10 runs and 15 hits, including four homers, through 10 1/3 innings. Thanks to great run support New York won both those games, and both games played over.
Based on recent performance overall and recent history vs. Sunday’s opponents we’re calling this pitching match-up a wash.
The Yanks rank seventh in the Majors this year against left-handed pitching with a .263 team batting average, first with a .350 team OBP and first with a .494 team slugging percentage. But they are missing Judge.
Boston, meanwhile, ranks No. 1 against right-handed pitching with a .273 BA, second with a .339 OBP and first with a .474 slugging percentage.
We’ll give the Sox the edge with the sticks here.
The New York bullpen ranks second in the ML with a 3.11 ERA and second with a 1.13 WHIP.
The Boston pen ranks sixth in ERA at 3.37 and seventh in WHIP at 1.24.
We’ll give the Yanks a short edge in the bullpen comparison.
The unders are 29-24 in games played at Fenway Park this year, even though Red Sox home games are averaging 9.5 total runs per.
Also, even though these are the top two scoring teams in baseball this year, both teams have played more unders than overs – Boston 58-51, New York 55-49.
The overs are 6-5-1 in Sox-Yanks games this season, which are averaging 11 runs per.
Boston would love to complete the sweep here, but New York will do anything and everything to avoid it. And while Tanaka hasn’t been too good against the Sox this year, Price has been even worse against the Yankees. We’ll take New York here at the underdog price.