New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox Preview and Pick – C.C. Sabathia vs. Brad Penny

New York Yankees (34-25) CC Sabathia -150, 9.5 O/U at Boston Red
Sox (35-24) Brad Penny +140, 9.5 O/U, Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.,
7:10 PM EST, Thursday

by Badger of

The New York Yankees gave their new ace pitcher CC Sabathia a
boatload of millions in the offseason as a free agent to deliver a
critical victory. Tonight in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox
will be Sabathias turn to hold up his end of the bargain as he tries
to stop the Yankees jinx against the Red Sox.

The Red Sox made it seven straight victories over the Yankees this
season, and eight overall dating back to 2008, with a gift-wrapped
6-5 victory over the Yanks last night. Yankees starter Chien-Ming
Wang folded under the pressure of the Yanks-Sox rivalry and only went
2.2 innings allowing four runs before manager Joe Girardi gave him
the quick hook. The early deficit was too much for the Yankees to
overcome against the Boston bullpen, but 2-for-15 with runners in
scoring position certainly didnt help.

Now the Yankees turn to Sabathia, making his first start against the
Sox as a Yankee, to try and stop the Red Sox train as they have now
won seven of their last nine games overall and have overtaken the
Yankees to claim first-place of the AL East.

Oddsmakers have listed the game with Sabathia and the Yankees as a rather large -150 favorite on the moneyline, given the circumstances,
thus making the Red Sox a juicy +140 underdog on the dimeline.

The over/under total opened at 10, but has dropped the hook to 9.5 at
most of the offshore sportsbooks taking wagers on the Internet.

Sabathia has been worth the money lately, as he has gone 4-0 with a
2.49 ERA over his last six starts and sports a 1.88 ERA in his road
starts this season. More importantly, hes averaged at least eight
innings per start during those six starts, which should help preserve
a Yankees bullpen that has been forced to eat over 12 innings of work
in this series since starters A.J. Burnett and Wang only recorded 8
outs each.

But Sabathia has had his troubles against the Red Sox in the past.
Hes 2-4 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in seven starts against the
Sox in his career, but he is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA at Fenway. The last
time Sabathia was on the Fenway mound was in the 2007 ALCS as an
Indian, when the Red Sox bombarded him for eight runs.

Like Sabathia, Penny will be making his first Yanks-Sox rivalry start
as well.

Penny has a nice 5-2 record with a 5.85 ERA and 1.60 WHIP this
season, but dont be fooled by those numbers. He has not pitched very
well at all since coming back from elbow issues. The Sox are just 6-5
in his 11 starts, and theyve been backing him with 7.2 runs of
support this season to help make up for his mistakes and struggles.

Penny has had one start pervious against the Yankees in his career,
winning the game pitching five innings allowing three runs on six
hits and three walks. Again, not very impressive, but a win.

The Yankee lineup should be able to get some good swings on Penny.
After being held to a season-low of two hits by Josh Beckett in the
opener, they rapped out 11 last night.

Boston will try and keep the momentum rolling by trying to get to
Sabathia early. Look for Kevin Youkilis to be the spark, as he is 3-
for-7 (.429) in his career versus the big lefty.

The best betting trend worth throwing a flyer at tonight could be the
under. The under is 5-1-1 in the last seven games at Fenway in this
head-to-head series. The under is also 4-0 in home plate umpire James
Hoyes last four games for Boston, and its 5-2 in his last seven
games calling balls and strikes for the Yankees.

Badgers Pick: I just cant get away from the great value of the Red
Sox as +140 underdogs. That just doesnt come around too often.
Boston is playing great with the home crowd and momentum on their
side. Im not risking much, but Im taking the Red Sox at +140.