The Boston Red Sox (56-59, 28-30 home) host the New York Yankees (72-42, 31-27 away) on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball in the rubber match of a three-game series.
New York took Friday’s opener, 3-2, while Boston bounced back Saturday with a 3-2 victory of their own. The Yankees own a 7-5 head-to-head record against their rival this season.
The first pitch of Sunday’s contest is at 7 p.m. EST at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. New York is the betting favorite at -135, and the over-under total is nine runs.
What to Know – New York Yankees
New York once held the best record in baseball but has slipped over the last few weeks, going 2-8 over their last ten contests. The Yankees remain well ahead of the competition in the American League East, holding a ten-game lead over the second-place Toronto Blue Jays.
Right-hander Jameson Taillon (11-2, 3.95 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) is the expected starter for the Yankees. The 30-year-old has just two defeats on the mound this year, his last coming at the beginning of July. Taillon has pitched 120.2 innings, allowing 53 earned runs behind 114 hits, 24 walks while striking out 104 batters.
Aaron Judge picked up his league-best 100th run batted in and 46th home run in Friday’s opener. The AL MVP candidate ranks tenth in the majors with a .303 batting average. Anthony Rizzo trails Judge with 27 home runs and 67 RBIs, while Giancarlo Stanton has swatted 24 long balls and driven in 61 runs.
New York is 15th in the league, hitting .244 as a team and scoring 5.2 runs per game. The Yankees’ pitching staff is third in the MLB and second in the AL, sporting a 3.28 team earned run average.
What to Know – Boston Red Sox
Boston broke off a three-game losing streak with Saturday’s victory. The Red Sox have been a disappointment this year, sitting below .500 and at the bottom of the divisional standings in the AL East.
The Red Sox counter on the mound with right-hander Michael Wacha (6-1, 2.69 ERA, 1.11 WHIP). The veteran starter returns from the injured list after missing all of July with a shoulder injury.
Before the setback, Wacha logged 70.1 innings on the mound, surrendering 21 earned runs, 56 hits, 22 walks, and 50 strikeouts.
Rafael Devers is the Red Sox engine on offense, leading Boston with 24 home runs and 60 RBIs. Alex Verdugo (7 HRs, 54 RBIs) and Xander Bogaerts (9 HRs, 48 RBIs) have had solid seasons at the dish while Boston patiently waits for Trevor Story’s return from the injured list.
The Red Sox bat .253 as a team, sixth in the majors, averaging 4.5 runs per contest. Boston’s pitching staff is 25th in the MLB with a 4.39 team ERA.
The Pick is In
New York has the better offense and pitcher on the mound. There will be a little rust from Wacha making his first start since the end of June, and expect him to have a short leash. We like the Yankees to take the series with a victory Sunday night at Fenway.
The Pick: New York Yankees ML