Baseball's most storied rivalry continues on Friday night in game two of a four-game series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the Bronx. The Red Sox are out of the playoff chase but have a number of veterans looking to finish the season strong. The Yankees, meanwhile, seem to have regained some of their swagger in recent weeks and there is that business about a home run record. The pitching matchup for Friday night will be veteran lefty Rich Hill (7-7, 4.70) of the Red Sox taking on Yankees' flame thrower Gerrit Cole (12-7, 3.41). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm EST.
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Looking for NumbersThe Red Sox are out of the playoff picture and can't really play the role of spoiler in this series as the Yankees are pretty much locked into the #2 seed in the American League. They can, however, take care of some personal goals with several players trying to improve their standings as they head towards an uncertain offseason in Boston. The Red Sox come into this series 5-5 in their last ten and 10-10 in their last 20 games. On Thursday night, in the series opener, the Red Sox fell in extra-innings 5-4.
📍 The Bronx pic.twitter.com/f5GFapr5YL— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 22, 2022
The Red Sox will be very busy this offseason as they review their roster and make decisions on key veteran free agents like JD Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi and potentially Xander Bogaerts. In the meantime, the team has started to take a look at youngsters on the mound and in the field like Brayan Bello and Triston Casas. Another veteran that may be looking at his immediate future this offseason will be Friday's starter, 41-year-old Rich Hill. Hill has pitched well as of late, 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA in his last five starts. Surprisingly, this is Hill's first start against the Yankees this season.
Chasing HistoryThe New York Yankees are already in the playoffs and the division title is nearly a formality at this point with less than two weeks in the season so there really is one major goal down the stretch: Aaron Judge's making history. The Yankees have won seven of their last nine games and Judge has been dominant with five home runs and 10 RBI over that span to reach 60 home runs, the third player in AL history to do so. He needs just two more home runs to establish a new American League record. On Thursday night, the Yankees led 3-1, fell behind 4-3 and finally came back to win the game in 10 innings, 5-4. Aaron Judge was held hitless in the game.
G-Unit 💪 pic.twitter.com/51RRCfrLXx— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 23, 2022
The Yankees appear locked into the #2 seed with under two weeks to go in the season so they will likely look to rest some of their starters and not risk any more injuries for a team that has been besieged by injuries over the second half of the season. On the mound on Friday night, the Yankees will turn to Gerrit Cole. Cole is 3-1 in his last five starts with an ERA of 3.38 and a K/9 rate of 13.2. Against Boston this season, Cole is 2-0 in five starts but has a 5.48 ERA and has given up seven home runs.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Yankees are 24-15 against lefties this season, 52-22 at home and 43-18 against teams under .500. With Judge still shy of the record, you can be sure that the Yankees will play their best nine and give him the most protection in the lineup. Judge is hitting .500 in his career against the veteran lefty and will certainly be looking to make history on Friday night. The Yankees are 7-3 in their last ten games and appear to be hitting their stride as the playoffs loom. Cole has yet to lose to the Red Sox and has averaged 12.5 K/9 against them this season. Cole will get enough support in this one with the Bombers looking like the Bombers again in their last ten games with 22 home runs.
Take the Yankees with the run line.
Full-Game Total Pick
There was a stretch through the month of August and into September that the under was the play with this Yankees offense. Don't look now but the Yankees offense is revving up again. With 22 home runs in ten games, the Yankees lineup looks imposing again. Judge is, of course, at the center of it all and gets the optimum number of at-bats as of late with his spot at the top of the order. Giancarlo Stanton's return to the lineup brings protection to the middle of the order as well. As for Boston, as always the matchup of Cole vs. Rafael Devers will be fun to watch. Devers has tagged Cole for six home runs in his career.
Take the over, 8.5 runs.