Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#915 Boston Red Sox 9.5 vs.
#916 New York Yankees -115
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 6:35pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Boston Red Sox will travel on the road to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday evening for the final game of their two-game series against the AL East-rival New York Yankees.

The Yankees dominated in the first game of the series, while sending Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale to an 0-4 record in the process. James Paxton tossed eight scoreless innings and struck out 12 Red Sox batters, while three different Yankees’ hitters homered in the 8-0 win. 

Eovaldi hopes to continue success vs. Red Sox

It will be right-hander Nathan Eovaldi’s turn in the rotation for the Red Sox on Wednesday night. The 29-year-old has not been immune to Boston’s early season pitching woes and he comes in with an 0-0 record to go along with an 8.40 ERA through three starts. Eovaldi has pitched five innings in all three of his starts, but he allowed six earned runs in his season-opening start and five earned runs in his last outing against the Toronto Blue Jays. While Eovaldi’s numbers aren’t exactly pretty, Boston is 3-0 in his starts so far this season.

One of the ways that Eovaldi endeared himself to Red Sox fans last season was by pitching well in his outings versus the Bronx Bombers. He made four starts versus the Yankees last season, finishing with a 1-1 record and a stellar 1.93 ERA. However, he was 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two outings on the road at Yankee Stadium.

According to Baseball Savant, the current Yankees’ roster is batting only .207 in  53 plate appearances versus Eovaldi, who sports a 2.21 FIP against the Bronx Bombers. However, the StatCast data favors the Yankees a bit more, projecting them for an expected batting average of .299 and an expected weighted on-base percentage of .303 heading into Wednesday’s starts.

Happ in search of first quality start as Red Sox roll into town

The Yankees will for the sweep by countering with left-hander J.A. Happ, who is still looking for his first win of the season after three starts. He comes in with an 0-2 record and an 8.76 ERA, while lasting only 12 ⅓ combined innings. The Yankees’ left-hander is also coming off of his worst outing of the season, allowing six earned runs on nine hits in a 9-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Of course, this isn’t exactly what the Yankees expected from Happ after he went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 regular season starts after coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays last year.

The 36-year-old made four starts versus the Red Sox in 2018, finishing with a 1-1 record and a 1.99 ERA in 22 ⅔ combined frames. Happ struck out 29 batters and walked just six batters in those innings, but his numbers also benefited from six unearned runs that weren’t tacked onto his ERA. Still, that hasn’t erased the fact that Happ has pitched well against Boston throughout his career. He is 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 21 career games (20 starts) versus the Red Sox and 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA against them dating back to 2016.

According to Baseball Savant, the current Yankees roster is batting only .218 in 289 plate appearances off of Happ. That helps hide a 5.02 FIP against the Yankees’ lineup and the StatCast data suggests he might be in for some regression too, projecting a .249 batting average and expected slugging percentage of .425 off of Happ heading into this ballgame.

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You’d have to think Boston will find a way to snap out of its funk eventually. The defending World Series Champion Red Sox are just 6-12 through their first 18 games and their once-vaunted lineup currently ranks 16th in the MLB in runs scored.  Happ hasn’t made it out of the fifth innings yet this year and the Red Sox will be hungry for runs after getting shut out in the first game of the series on Tuesday. Take Boston to get some revenge in the second and final game of their series at Yankee Stadium in this spot.

Prediction: Boston Red Sox -105

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Both of these pitchers have struggled so far this season and these two teams have gone over the projected total in seven of their last 10 matchups. The Yankees have gone over the projected total in each of Happ’s last six starts and the over is 11-3 when allowing two runs or less in their previous game. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are fresh off of being shut out on Tuesday and the over is 6-0-1 in Eovaldi’s last seven starts overall. Take this rivalry game to go over the projected total on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Over 9

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits.