One of the best rivalries in baseball gets renewed this weekend as the New York Yankees (86-67) square off with the Boston Red Sox (88-65). The Red Sox will host this one at Fenway Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
In the season series, the Red Sox currently have the advantage as they have a 10-6 record against New York. At Fenway Park, Boston is 6-1 against the Yankees this season.
Coming into the weekend, both teams had the day off on Thursday. To start the week, the Yankees were able to sweep the Texas Rangers, including a 7-3 win on Wednesday.
Boston has also been rolling as they have won seven in a row, including series sweeps over the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees are the slight favorites Friday night despite playing on the road. They are -118 to win while Boston’s moneyline sits at +100. The runline features Boston +1.5 (-156), and the over/under for total runs is nine.
The Yankees will send ace and Cy Young contender Gerrit Cole (15-8, 3.03 ERA) to the mound for the opener. Cole was roughed up in his last start giving up seven earned runs in 5.2 innings in a loss to the Indians.
The Red Sox will counter with righty Nathan Eovaldi. On the season, he is 10-8 with a 3.58 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and has 188 strikeouts in 173.2 innings. In his last seven starts, Eovaldi is 0-1 but has a 2.43 ERA.
By The Numbers
The Red Sox have had the better of the two offenses this season. They currently rank fourth in scoring averaging 5.19 runs per game (5.91 at home). The Yankees rank 19th, averaging 4.37 runs.
Defensively, it is the Yankees with the advantage. New York ranks ninth in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 4.14 runs per game. The Red Sox rank 18th allowing 4.64 runs (4.91 at home).
Yankees Hope To Gain Ground For Top Wild Card Spot
The American League Wild Card race is going to be one of the most fascinating to watch as the regular season comes to a close. The Yankees hold the second spot and sit just two games behind Boston for the top wild-card spot.
However, the Yankees also have to pay attention to their rearview mirror as the Blue Jays are just half a game behind them.
Aaron Judge leads an offense that will try to give pitcher Gerrit Cole some run support. This season, Judge is hitting .287/.371/.537 with a team-leading 36 home runs, 89 runs batted in, and 81 runs scored.
Against Eovaldi, Judge also has success as he is hitting .368 in 19 at-bats with a home run.
Red Sox Want To Create Distance In Wild Card Race
While the Yankees are trying to catch the Red Sox, Boston is trying to create separation in the Wild Card race. Boston has the advantage of having the fourth-easiest remaining schedule as opponents have a combined .434 winning percentage, but they also know they can do the most damage in the standings head-to-head.
Leading the way for Boston’s offense is third baseman Rafael Devers. He leads the team in home runs (34), runs batted in (105), and runs scored (94) while hitting .275/.341/.528.
There are a few players who have had success against Cole as Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Travis Shaw have all taken Gerrit Cole deep twice in their careers.
Take The Red Sox On The Runline
If the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has taught us anything throughout the years, it is to expect the unexpected. Even though this looks like a pitcher’s duel on paper, don’t be surprised if the offenses create some havoc.
Regardless, expect this game to remain close throughout, and, for that reason, taking Boston on the runline is probably the best call.
Take Boston +1.5.