New York Yankees (66-35) vs. Boston Red Sox (56-47)
New York Yankees: 5.73 Runs, -116 ML, Boston Red Sox: 5.27 Runs, +102 ML
For the first time all year the New York Yankees visit the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
A rivalry born out of one of the most infamous hornswoggling of all time – the trading of Babe Ruth for a song (or play, I guess, in actuality) – seems most fit when the Evil Empire heads north. Boston, the city with a Plymouth-Rock-sized chip on its shoulder loves nothing more than beating the hated Yanks and yelling them out of the stadium.
New York lead the series Sox 1219-1030 all time over Boston in regular season and post season match-ups. They have won 6 of 7 this year, including the last 2 taking place in London.
Looking at the Sides
The Odds (Yankees -116/ Red Sox +102) imply the Yankees have a 52.1% of winning the game. That seems about right to me. The Yankees now have the best record in baseball, overtaking the Dodgers and Astros with a wild 2-1 series win Minnesota. The Yankees lead the league in offense scoring with 5.82 – and their often maligned Bullpen has pulled into second best in the MLB in terms of reliever ERA.
But the Red Sox are no slouch either. Coming off one of the most dominant season’s in recent memory, we may end up looking back at the Red Sox 1st half struggles in 2019 as nothing more than a World Series hang over by an all-time team. Remember when the 1998 Bulls started the season 8-7? Exactly, you don’t.
The Red Sox have the 3rd highest scoring total in the league at 5.65 a game. The Red Sox also have 2 more road wins so far than any other team in the MLB. If they can get their act together and play to form at home, they will be a scary out when the playoffs roll around.
Let’s Go with a Total
I don’t trust either starter in this spot. Former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello has been the definition of average so far this season – with a 0.1 WAR. This is nothing new for Red Sox fans. Porcello, the $82 million man, has trended downward steadily since his incredible 2016 season. His strikeout rate (7.1) is the lowest it has been in his Red Sox career. The Yankees ate his stuff up back on June 1st, when they put 5 on the board against him by the 4th inning.
Massahiro Tanaka is another highly paid pitcher that hasn’t shown the dominance that earned him that money. Particularly, away from Yankee stadium he has been bad. On the road this year, he is 1-3 in 8 starts with a 5.4 ERA. In his career against Boston he has a 4.8 ERA.
2019 has been the year of the home run and I expect more of the same in this classic venue for this classic series. I don’t like going against the Yankees solid relievers, so I’ll take the First 5 Innings Over 6.5 instead.