Red Sox at Yankees Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 4/3/2013
I'm not saying New York Yankees fans should panic quite yet, but I fully expect that the team misses the playoffs for only the second time since 1995. As I'm sure everyone knows by now, almost every recognizable name in the Yanks' lineup is on the disabled list to start the season. Thus, this was the lineup Joe Girardi wrote out for Monday's opener against Boston, a 8-2 Red Sox win: CF Brett Gardner, SS Eduardo Nunez, 2B Robinson Cano, 1B Kevin Youkilis, LF Vernon Wells, DH Ben Francisco (normally would be Travis Hafner, but he came off bench with the Yanks facing a lefty starter), RF Ichiro Suzuki, 3B Jayson Nix and C Francisco Cervelli.
Are you kidding me?
Cano was the only Yankee to start the 2012 opener as well as Monday's at the same position. It is the first time the Yankees have had one player start in the same position from year-to-year since 1959-60. It was New York's first Opening Day loss at home since 1982 (11 straight wins).
Maybe five years ago that group would be formidable when Youkilis, Wells and Ichiro were star-level players, but in April 2013 the only hitter who scares anyone out of that nine is Cano. He's probably not going to see a single good pitch to hit until Jeter, Granderson and Teixeira return. It shouldn't be a surprise that the Yankees were limited to six hits and just two runs by Boston's Jon Lester (my Cy Young pick) and five relievers. Cano, by the way, is reportedly leaving agent Scott Boras, which could definitely affect his chances of possibly re-signing with the Yankees when Cano becomes a free agent after this season.
To make matters worse, New York ace CC Sabathia didn't look right, either. He wasn't too bad Monday, but his velocity was down. Perhaps that's just an early-season thing, but his velocity was down on average about four mph on various pitches from his debut a year ago against Tampa Bay. Remember that Sabathia had some offseason cleanup surgery on his elbow. He hasn't been good on Opening Day in the past for New York, so maybe it's nothing.
Red Sox at Yankees Betting Story Lines
Boston also had a revamped lineup on Monday, although the team planned it that way. Free-agent signee Shane Victorino had two hits and three RBI hitting out of the No. 2 hole. New cleanup hitter Mike Napoli was 0-for-5 with two punchouts. Jonny Gomes was at DH with David Ortiz out injured likely until mid-April (missing his first Opening Day since 2003), and Gomes had two hits. Jose Iglesias started at short with Stephen Drew recovering from a concussion and had three hits (none leaving the infield).
The guy the Red Sox are really excited about is rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. He wasn't expected to make the big-league roster this spring but was one of the best hitters in the Grapefruit League. He walked three times, scored twice and had an RBI on Monday. He is the only player in MLB history to make his career debut in his team's season opener with at least three walks and one RBI. Bradley celebrated afterward with his family at the Times Square Applebee's. You have to love rookies!
Boston's bullpen also has some new faces, and both did their jobs in the opener. Koji Uehara was first out of the bullpen and pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning. Closer Joel Hanrahan cruised in a non-save situation in the ninth inning.
One oddity Monday was that there wasn't a single home run. Since the new Yankee Stadium opened four years ago, that has happened only three other times in 72 games between the teams, all at Fenway Park. It's just one win, but certainly a welcome sight for Red Sox Nation after the team essentially quit late last season in finishing 69-93 under the since-fired Bobby Valentine. Plus, the Sox started 2011 0-6 and last year 1-5, when the team didn't spend a single day in first place.
Starting for Boston on Wednesday is right-hander Clay Buchholz. Like most Boston pitchers, he struggled last year with an 11-8 record and 4.56 ERA. He had a gaudy 8.69 ERA in April and was a terrible 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA against the Yankees. However, Buchholz was very good this spring and looks reborn under Manager John Farrell. Hiroki Kuroda was great in his first season as a Yankee in 2012, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA. He also had three complete games and two shutouts. Kuroda was 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in five starts against Boston.
Red Sox at Yankees MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Yankees have been opened at -115 and the Red Sox +105 with the total at 8.5. Boston has won just 19 of its past 60 games vs. right-handed starters. The Sox are 7-18 in their past 25 road games. The Red Sox are 0-5 in their last five road games vs. a right-handed starter. Boston is 3-13 in its last 16 when its opponent scores two runs or fewer in its previous game. The Red Sox are 1-7 in Buchholz's past eight starts.
The Yankees are 7-1 in their past eight Game 2s of a series. They have won 11 of their past 14 after a loss. New York has dropped its past four against a right-handed starter. The Yanks are 7-0 in Kuroda's past seven starts when their opponent allows two runs or fewer in their previous game. The “under” is 6-1 in Buchholz's past seven road starts vs. a team with a losing record. The under is 6-1 in Kuroda's past seven starts in Game 2 of a series. The Sox are 2-7 in Buchholz's past nine starts vs. New York. The “over” is 11-5-1 in the past 17 meetings at Yankee Stadium.
Red Sox at Yankees Picks and Betting Predictions
Boston certainly will miss Ortiz's big left-handed bat against the righty Kuroda, but I simply don't see how that Yankees lineup is going to score more than a few runs. New York had won five straight against Boston before Monday, but this year's lineup currently looks more like the Florida State League's Tampa Yankees than the Bronx Bombers. The big-league Yankees have just 11 players who were on their 2012 Opening Day roster. Take the Sox and the under as it will be cold and windy.
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s baseball picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top MLB handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Get all of Today's Free MLB Picks
Get all of Today's Expert MLB Picks