MLB Picks: Red Sox at Yankees Odds and Series Predictions
by Darin Zank - 6/7/2011
The Boston Red Sox have done a good job of digging themselves out of the hole they started in this season. Now Boston will be tested to continue its recent good play as it starts a nine-game road trip with a three-game series with their old friends, the New York Yankees, at the new Yankee Stadium beginning Tuesday night.
Boston started 0-6 this season and sat at 17-20 going into a series at New York three weeks ago. But the Red Sox are 16-6 since, after sweeping three games from the Oakland A's in Beantown over the weekend.
New York, meanwhile, has won 13 of its last 18 games and just finished off a 6-3 West Coast road trip by taking two of three games from the Angels in Anaheim over the weekend.
So going into Tuesday night the Yankees, at 33-24, lead the AL East by a game over the second-place Red Sox and 3 ½ games over the third-place Tampa Bay Rays.
Lefty Jon Lester will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night against Freddy Garcia for the Yanks (7:05 p.m. EST). Then Wednesday knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will go for Boston vs. AJ Burnett for New York (7:05 p.m. EST, ESPN). And Thursday Josh Beckett will throw for the Sox against CC Sabathia for the Bombers (7:05 p.m. EST).
Tuesday's Pitching Matchup
Lester has been struggling lately, with just one quality start in his last five tries. In his last outing he got touched up for seven earned runs on eight hits and four walks in just 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the White Sox. Three weeks ago, though, Lester got a win vs. the Yankees by allowing four ERs in six innings. Last year Lester started four times vs. New York, holding the Yanks to six ERs in 25 1/3 innings of work. Boston won three of those games.
Garcia has strung together three straight quality starts, allowing eight ERs on 22 hits over his last 20 1/3 IP. But he did give up four ERs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to Boston three weeks ago. Last year Garcia, as a member of the White Sox, started once vs. the Red Sox, holding them to two ERs on four hits in seven innings.
Wednesday's Pitching Matchup
Wakefield had won a couple of games in a row before giving up four ERs in six innings in a loss to the White Sox last Wednesday. On the year Wakefield's ERA sits at 4.40, although his WHIP is pretty good at 1.19. Last year Wakefield threw 14 1/3 innings vs. the Yankees, allowing six ERs on 11 hits.
Since getting clipped by Tampa four starts ago Burnett has limited opponents to seven ERs on 13 hits in 18 1/3 IP, although he's walked 11 over that span. Last year Burnett started three times vs. Boston, giving up 13 ER on 22 hits in 15 1/3 innings of work.
Thursday's Pitching Matchup
Beckett has posted six straight quality starts, and Boston has won five of those games. On the season Beckett owns a 2.01 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Three weeks ago Beckett held New York scoreless through six innings, striking out nine in a Red Sox victory. But that was a complete change from how he fared last year vs. the Yankees, when he got punked for 29 ERs in 26 innings, covering five starts.
Sabathia has given up just two ERs in his last two starts, covering 16 2/3 innings. But three weeks ago he gave up six ERs in 6 2/3 innings in a loss to Boston. Last year CC started four times vs. the Sox, allowing 11 ERs on 20 hits in 25 IP.
So far this year Boston has taken five of six games from the Yanks. The Sox took two of three games from New York at Fenway Park back in early April, and then swept three games at Yankee Stadium in mid-May. The totals split 3-3 in those games, which averaged 9.8 runs per game.
Last year these two teams split 18 games. But the totals leaned toward the ‘overs’ by a 12-4-2 margin, as those games averaged a healthy 11 RPG.
Red Sox at Yankees Betting Series Odds and Trends
As of Tuesday morning Bodog is listing New York as a -130 favorite to win this series, with Boston getting +100 as the underdog.
Boston is 14-13 on the road this season.
New York is 17-13 at home this season.
The ‘over/unders’ are 28-25 in Boston games this season.
The ‘over/unders’ are 26-27 in Yankees games this season.
The ‘over/unders’ are 15-14 in games played at Yankee Stadium this season, which have averaged nine RPG.
Red Sox at Yankees Pick
As always, this Boston-New York series looks pretty even, and both teams enter hot. But Boston's Achilles heel so far this year has been its bullpen, which owns a 4.26 ERA. The Yankees pen, meanwhile, ranks third-best in the majors with a 2.78 ERA. So we'll take New York to win this series.
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