What makes a great rivalry? Certainly not one side always winning. But going into this weekend’s four-game series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, the Bronx Bombers had come off a bombing of their AL East rivals, scoring 29 runs in a two-game sweep in London in late June. Safe to say, Boston has gained a little revenge and will look to complete a four-game sweep in this series when the two play on Sunday Night Baseball.
The Red Sox have won the first three games of this series by a combined score of 38-13, cutting the Yankees’ lead in the AL East to eight games. Boston is also tied with Oakland for the second Wild Card spot in the American League, four games behind Cleveland, which is in the first Wild Card spot.
The moneyline for this contest has the New York Yankees +170 and the Boston Red Sox -185. The over/under has been set at 10.5.
Needing A Good Start
New York comes into the series finale having given up seven or more runs in seven straight games, and the bullpen has definitely been used more than usual in this series. Enter Domingo German, the Yankees’ starter on Sunday, who leads the team in wins with 12 and has won his last three decisions to up his overall record to 12-2. Problem is, his last start was not a good one at all, as he went just 3 2/3 innings against Minnesota, giving up eight earned runs on nine hits, including three home runs. He’ll need to be much better against the hot Boston batters.
New York’s offense hasn’t been completely silent in this series, but they’ll need much more production if the pitching staff can’t turn things around. Injuries continue to be the story for this team, with DJ LeMahieu, the team’s leader in batting average (.332) and RBI (71) day-to-day with a groin strain that kept him out of Saturday’s contest. Catcher Gary Sanchez also recently went on the 10-day injured list with a groin strain, which may explain some of the pitching staff’s woes as well.
Red-Hot Red Sox
Boston has played its last six games against the Rays and Yankees, knowing they needed a good showing to get into the Wild Card and division race. They’ve gone 5-1, with a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay the only blemish on their record over that span. Now they send Chris Sale to the mound for the series finale as he goes for his season-high third straight victory. Sale is 5-9 on the season with a 4.00 ERA, but he’s been better of late, going a total of 12 innings in his last two starts, allowing just six hits and two runs while striking out 22.
The Red Sox have a deep lineup, and when they are all hot, they can be unbeatable. Rafael Devers leads the team with a .329 batting average and 82 RBI, and he already has five doubles in the first three games of this series. Mookie Betts had an off-night on Saturday, though he certainly deserved it after Friday night’s three-home run performance in which he also had a double and drove in five runs.
Sox Seal Sweep
New York is going to be a beast come playoff time, but the Yankees are again dealing with injuries to key players and just aren’t playing good baseball right now. Taking on a motivated Red Sox team that is hitting on all cylinders only makes it harder for them to get a win. Sale has been pitching great, while the Yankees have been struggling to contain anyone. Take the Red Sox -185 to take their third straight over the Yankees.