Chasing down the AL East crown is probably a fruitless endeavor at this point for the Boston Red Sox, but at the same time, you just never know. With Friday’s 3-2 win over the New York Yankees, Boston is still in last place in the division and 15.5 games back.
The reason you never know is because New York is on a slide right now. They’ve lost eight of their last nine games and were just 13-13 in July.
At the very least, Boston is in the fight for the wild card, four games out of the third and final spot. Oddsmakers still have New York a -148 favorite for Saturday night’s game two.
Montas Wants Better Results
The Yankees didn’t make the move most people wanted at the trade deadline (Juan Soto), but they did bolster their rotation with the acquisition of Frankie Montas, who starts on Saturday. It wasn’t a great debut for the right-hander, who was rocked for 6ER over just 3.0 IP last Sunday as the Cardinals completed the sweep with a 12-9 victory.
Montas got plenty of run support in his first start with New York but still couldn’t pick up the victory. Who knows if that will be the case in game two, as the Yankees’ high-powered offense has been held to three runs or less in six of their last eight.
New York did outhit Boston 9-8 on Friday night, and Aaron Judge hit his 46th home run of the season, but it still wasn’t enough to get the victory.
Judge is hitting .400 over the past week, but former Boston player Andrew Benintendi is the only other player batting above .300 over the span for the Yankees.
Boston With the Big Win
It’s a little too early to say the Red Sox are moving in the right direction after Friday night’s victory because this is still a team that had lost six of their previous eight. Either way, a win over the rival Yankees is nice, and Tommy Pham delivered with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th.
J.D. Martinez had three hits and batted in Boston’s other two runs in the series opener. The win pushed the Red Sox’ mark to 5-6 in the head-to-head series this season, and it was also the first time the under had hit in the last six meetings between the two teams in Boston. The ‘over’ is 7-1 in the last eight head-to-head meetings overall.
Kutter Crawford will try to rebound from a poor outing in his last time out, giving up 5 ER over 5.0 IP in a 13-5 loss to the Royals. The rookie has one start vs. the Yankees this season, giving up an ER over 5.0 IP on July 9th in a 6-5 Red Sox win.
Yankees vs. Red Sox Pick and Prediction
This is actually a tough side to call because both starting pitchers had rough outings in their last start. The Yankees don’t seem to have much value at -148, considering they’ve lost eight of their last nine games, so the Red Sox +126 would be the lean on the side.
Instead, it seems the best wager in this matchup is on the over. The Yankees had scored at least five runs in six of their previous seven meetings with the Red Sox and averaged over ten runs against them in a series in mid-July. With Montas and Crawford both having issues on the mound last time out, runs should be aplenty.
Pick: Over 9 (-110)