New York Yankees (65-55 SU, 64-56 RL, 61-56-3 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (69-51 SU, 62-58 RL, 53-62-5 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 19, 2017, Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, 7:10 pm ET
Lines: Boston -233, New York +214; Over/Under: 8
It’s the continuation 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 second of three against the division leading Boston Red Sox Saturday night. New York closed their four game, two stadium series with the crosstown Mets on the road Thursday and earned a sweep with a 7-5 triumph on the road Thursday. Boston swept a two game interleague set at home against the Cardinals with a walk-off 5-4 win Wednesday. The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener saw rookie Jordan Montgomery face Boston’s Drew Pomeranz. First pitch in the contest was set for 7:10 pm ET.
New York Yankees Maintaining Wild Card Spot
New York swept the Subway Series from the Mets as they took the finale of the set Thursday night. The Yankees jumped to a 7-0 lead and held off another ninth inning rally by the Mets. New York entered Friday’s opener within four games of the Red Sox in the AL East. Gary Sanchez (run, five RBI), Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin (run) each had two hits for the Yankees in the win. Luis Severino (10-5) got the win as he threw 6.1 innings, allowing one run (none earned) on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. After Bryan Mitchell gave up four runs without retiring a hitter, Dellin Betances came on to record his eighth save of the year.
CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees here and logs his 20th start of the season. He is 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA, a 1.309 WHIP, 38 walks and 80 strikeouts over 102.1 innings of work this year. He is expected to be activated from the disabled list after missing time with knee inflammation. Sabathia took the loss in his last outing, which came on August 8 against the Blue Jays on the road. He threw three innings, allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts in a game the Yankees lost by a 4-2 score. Sabathia is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, three walks and nine strikeouts over 13.1 innings in his last three starts. He logs his 38th career start against the Red Sox here: he is 15-13 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.321 WHIP over 237 innings of work. Sabathia is 6-5 with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.572 WHIP over 103.2 innings in his 17 career starts at Fenway Park.
Boston Red Sox Try to Build Division Lead
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.
Chris Sale takes the mound for his 25th start of the season for the Red Sox here. He is 14-4 with a 2.51 ERA, a 0.879 WHIP, 31 walks and a league leading 241 strikeouts over 168.1 innings of work this season. Sale recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came Sunday on the road against the Yankees. He threw seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts in an eventual, 3-2, 10 inning Boston win. Sale is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, four walks and 30 strikeouts over 20 innings in his last three starts. This is his 14th career appearance and 11th start against the Red Sox. Sale is 4-2 with a 1.18 ERA and a 0.825 WHIP over 76.1 innings of work. He is 7-2 with one save, a 3.01 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP over 92.2 innings in 16 appearances, 13 starts, at Fenway Park in his career.
- Yankees are 1-4 in their last 5 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 6-0 in their last 6 during game 2 of a series
- Red Sox are 8-1 in their last 9 home games
New York is still holding the top wild card spot in the American League but you know they have their eyes set on the division title if at all possible. The Yankees’ biggest issue right now is their starting rotation: Masahiro Tanaka is on the DL currently, Michael Pineda is done for the year and Sabathia is coming off it in this contest. Outside of Severino, the pitching staff hasn’t had an arm to rely on consistently. Facing the dominant Sale, who could garner some MVP votes this season thanks to his dominance, is a tough ask for anyone, especially an aging and banged up Sabathia. Look for the Red Sox to get the win in this contest.
Pick: Boston Red Sox -233
The Yankees may have swept the Mets but dealing with a bitter division rival, especially one as talented as the Red Sox, is another matter entirely. New York’s bullpen had issues against the Mets as we saw over the course of that series. The Yankees also had problems against Boston last weekend as Aroldis Chapman blew a save Sunday and tweaked his hamstring against the Mets. Boston has gotten all they could have asked for and more from Sale this season and he could pay even bigger dividends in the postseason as the ace of their rotation.
The under is 8-1-1 in the Yankees’ last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning record, 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600, 6-0 in Sabathia’s last 6 Saturday starts, 9-1 in Sabathia’s last 10 starts on grass and 20-5-1 in Sabathia’s last 26 starts during game 2 of a series. Boston has seen the under go 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a left-handed starter, 4-1-1 in their last 6 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30 and 5-0 in Sale’s last 5 starts vs. American League East foes. Given Sale on the mound, there’s a pretty good chance that there will be at least one low number on the board: look for this one to come under the total as well.