This weekend’s four-game series already marks the Boston Red Sox’s final trip of the year to Yankee Stadium. For Friday’s opener, the Yankees will be huge lead when it comes to MLB betting odds favorites as they are scheduled to start big-ticket free-agent addition and Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole.
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The Yankees swept Boston three games in the Bronx from July 31-Aug. 2. Each win was by at least two runs. New York took the finale 9-7 in the highest-scoring game of the series and the only one that went over the total. Aaron Judge homered twice and drove in five runs in that one. New York has won six in a row and 11 of 12 against Boston since last July.
Why Bet on Boston?
The Sox are in the midst of playing 30 games in 31 days from 8/7-9/6. They are playing on 17 consecutive days from 8/7-23, their longest stretch without a scheduled day off in 2020. Since going 2-0 at Yankee Stadium in the 2018 ALDS en route to their World Series championship, the Red Sox are 1-11 in the Bronx (0-7 in last 7 games).
Will the Sox have star shortstop Xander Bogaerts for this one? He didn’t start Thursday’s finale vs. the Rays due to "fatigue in his lower half." Doesn’t sound serious, though. Boston already is without another good young player in outfielder Andrew Benintendi. He’s going to be out a while. The initial hope seemed to be that it could be a minimum IL stay for Benintendi after he was diagnosed with a right ribcage strain, but Benintendi will need well more than the 10 days. It’s been a nightmarish start to the 2020 season for Benintendi, who was just 4-for-39 at the plate before getting injured.
It’s Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 4.09) scheduled on the mound for Boston, although there’s a chance he is pushed to Saturday instead. He didn’t face New York in the first series. n Eovaldi logged a quality start in a no-decision against the Blue Jays last Sunday, punching out 10 over six innings of three-run ball. Eovaldi racked up strikeouts on the strength of 19 swinging strikes on 91 total pitches. The right-hander scattered six hits didn’t walk a batter.
Most of the damage done against him came via the long ball, with Cavan Biggio crushing a solo homer in the third and Bo Bichette blasting a solo shot in the sixth. Eovaldi has an impressive 24:3 K:BB to go along with a 1.27 WHIP across 22 innings.The Red Sox are 5-3 in games started by Eovaldi (3-1) and Martín Pérez (2-2). Those pitchers have thrown at least 5.0 innings in each of their 8 starts, combining for a 3.74 ERA (18 ER/43.1 IP). Boston has a single win in games not started by those two. If the Sox move Eovaldi back a day, it’s not clear who they would start Friday. It could be a bullpen game. The Red Sox are trying to give Eovaldi a breather whenever they can, and Manager Ron Roenicke talked with chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and pitching coach Dave Bush and determined to give him an extra day for this turn.
“I know Nate still wants to come back on those and pitch his fifth day, but whenever we can do it, we would like to try to take care of those starters,” Roenicke said.
Why Bet on NY Yankees?
New York had Thursday off so will have its bullpen. The Yankees completed a two-game home sweep of the Braves on Wednesday, 6-3. Clint Frazier went 3-for-4 with a homer and a double in his season debut. He was just called up to take the place of the injured Giancarlo Stanton. DJ LeMahieu had four more hits Wednesday to raise his average to .431. LeMahieu tripled once and singled three times. He’s hit in 15 of his 17 appearances.
Slugger Aaron Judge didn’t play Wednesday because of lower body tightness. After leaving Tuesday night’s 9-6 win over the Braves in the sixth inning, when the Yankees led by five runs, Manager Aaron Boone said Judge was OK following the victory but that clearly was a lie. Boone is hoping Judge will be ready to play but he couldn’t guarantee it.
Judge became one of four Yankees in franchise history to record at least 9HR through the team’s first 17 games, joining Alex Rodriguez (12 in 2007) Graig Nettles (10 in 1974) and Mickey Mantle (9 in 1956).
Yankees batters have homered in each of their last 14 home games (since 9/3/19 vs. Texas), the sixth-longest streak at the current Yankee Stadium and the longest since a 19-game stretch with a homer at home from 5/19-6/26/19.
Ace Gerrit Cole (3-0, 3.22) has been about as good as advertised for the Yankees. He missed the Red Sox in the first series. Cole struck out 10 but allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings against the Rays last time out. Cole breezed through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth, and after allowing a two-run homer to Jose Martinez he was pulled in that frame.
Cole noted after Saturday’s outing that he made a change to his delivery: "I made a little tweak with my delivery, staying over my legs a little better. I thought that increased a little bit of the deception and allowed me to get through the baseball at the end, really starting to nail my spin axis. At times, it’s been a little inconsistent. Today we were really repeating for the most part until a few pitches towards the end."
It marked his 26th consecutive start without a loss, a streak which dates to last season and is the fifth-longest in big league history.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 1
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