New York Yankees (64-55 SU, 63-56 RL, 60-56-3 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (69-51 SU, 62-58 RL, 53-62-5 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 18, 2017, Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, 7:10 pm ET
Lines: Boston -132, New York +122; Over/Under: 9
It’s the opener of a weekend set between a pair of bitter AL East rivals up in Beantown. The New York Yankees are on the road as they play the first of three against the division leading Boston Red Sox Friday night. New York closed their four game, two stadium series with the crosstown Mets on the road Thursday going for a sweep: they won 5-3 on the road Wednesday. Boston swept a two game interleague set at home against the Cardinals with a walk-off 5-4 win Wednesday. The Red Sox took two of three in the last series between the teams, which came in New York August 11-13.
New York Yankees Trying to Close Gap in AL East
New York won their third straight over the crosstown Mets but still has ground to make up in the AL East race. The Yankees entered Thursday 4.5 games behind the Red Sox in the division, though they hold the first wild card slot. Aaron Judge (two runs, RBI), Chase Headley (run, RBI) and Ronald Torreyes (run) each had two hits in the win for New York. Jaime Garcia recorded a no-decision after throwing 5.1 innings: he allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Tommy Kahnle (2-3) got the win with the final two outs of the sixth inning while David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 14th save of the year.
Rookie Jordan Montgomery makes his 23rd start of the season for the Yankees. He is 7-6 with a 3.94 ERA, a 1.223 WHIP, 38 walks and 115 strikeouts over 121 innings of work this season. Montgomery recorded a no-decision his last time out, which came Sunday at home against the Red Sox. He threw 5.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts as the Yankees fell, 3-2, in 10 innings. Montgomery is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, five walks and 16 strikeouts over 13 innings of work in his last three starts. He has no record with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP over 9.1 innings in his two career starts against the Red Sox. Montgomery recorded a no-decision in his lone start at Fenway Park, which came July 14. He allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts over four innings in a game New York lost 5-4 in walk-off fashion.
Boston Red Sox Look to Extend Advantage
Boston won for the fourth time in five games as they rallied to a walk-off win in the finale of their set with the Cardinals. The Red Sox trailed 4-0 after one and a half innings and still trailed 4-2 entering the ninth before scoring three times. Mookie Betts (three RBI) had three hits, including the game-winning two-run double on a full count pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Xander Bogaerts hit his seventh homer of the year to trim the deficit to 4-3. Eduardo Rodriguez recorded a no-decision after allowing four runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Craig Kimbrel (5-0) picked up the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
Drew Pomeranz gets the ball for his 24th start of the year for the Red Sox in this contest. He is 12-4 with a 3.39 ERA, a 1.343 WHIP, 47 walks and 132 strikeouts over 127.1 innings of work this year. Pomeranz picked up the win in his last outing, which came Saturday on the road against the Yankees. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a game the Red Sox won, 10-5. Pomeranz is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, four walks and 17 strikeouts over 19.2 innings in his last three starts. He makes his ninth career appearance and eighth start against the Royals in this contest: he is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.242 WHIP over 42.2 innings in those contests. Pomeranz is 7-4 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.392 WHIP over 97.2 innings in 22 appearances, 18 starts, at Fenway Park in his career.
- Yankees are 2-6 in their last 8 games vs. a left-handed starter
- Yankees are 0-4 in their last 4 road games vs. a left-handed starter
- Red Sox are 6-0 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Red Sox are 8-1 in their last 9 home games
- Red Sox are 10-2 in their last 12 games on grass
The Red Sox have some momentum at this point and took two of three from the Yankees last weekend in the Bronx. Pomeranz is on a roll right now as he set a career high for wins in a season thanks to the victory in his last start. Montgomery is scuffling a bit as perhaps he’s hitting a bit of that rookie wall as the season winds down. Boston had the benefit of having Thursday off to rest while the Yankees had to play a game and potentially tax their bullpen. Look for Boston to take advantage and take the opener of this series.