The New York Yankees could use a soft spot in their schedule as they effort to stave off a couple contenders in the AL East. Fortunately for them, they begin a three-game series with the Red Sox in Boston Tuesday night.
Can the Yanks take advantage of the sinking Sox, and extend their lead in the East? Or does Boston have a little spoiler spirit left in it?
We'll be tracking this series day-by-day, updating as things progress, and offering a free MLB pick for each game. So stay tuned.
By: Ron Patrick -
New York got this series to even Wednesday with a 5-4
victory, getting a couple of homers from Curtis Granderson and 5 1/3 good
innings from starter David Phelps. The Yanks won as -150 favorites on the MLB
betting line, and despite 14 extra-base hits the game, to our utter
frustration, stayed 'under' its total of 9.5.
So with Wednesday's win the Yankees remain tied atop the AL
East with Baltimore, three games clear of Tampa Bay. But New York also remains
five games back of Texas in the battle
for the best record in the American League.
Boston, meanwhile, has lost 12 of its last 14 games.
New York will send Phil Hughes (14-12, 4.13) to the mound
for this series finale Thursday against lefty Felix Doubront (10-8, 5.21) for
These two pitchers faced off back on July 7, a game won by
Hughes is 15-for-28 on quality starts this season, and four
for his last five. Most recently Hughes gave up two ER and six hits in six
innings against the Orioles, and over his last five outings he's allowed 10 ER
through 32 innings.
On the season, though, Hughes has allowed more hits, 173,
than innings pitched, 168, and been tagged for 33 homers, second-most among all
Hughes has started three times against the Red Sox this
season; two went good, one went bad. Overall, Hughes has allowed six ER and 19
hits in 19 1/3 innings against Boston this year.
Doubront, meanwhile, is by our strict standards only
eight-for-25 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last five. His last
time out Doubront gave up five runs in four innings against the Blue Jays, and
over his last five outings he's been roughed up for 23 ER and 33 hits in just
21 1/3 innings. Not surprisingly, the Sox have lost four of his last five
On the season Doubront has allowed more hits, 146, than
innings pitched, 135, including 22 gopher balls.
But in three starts this season against New York Doubront
has actually been pretty good, holding the Yanks to five ER and 12 hits over 18
As of Thursday AM most books were listing the Yankees at
around -145 for Thursday night's game, with a total of 9.5. New York could also
be played at around +105 on the run line at most baseball betting outlets.
Yankees SS Derek Jeter tweaked a leg running out a grounder
Wednesday night, left the game and is uncertain for Thursday. Over in the other
dugout Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia is on paternity leave and will supposedly miss
the next several games.
Free MLB Pick
We're 0-2 for this series so far, missing with the Yanks
Tuesday and the 'over' on Wednesday. So we could use a winner today. And from
our point of view the safest way to go on this game is to take New York.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Yankees
By: Ron Patrick -
took the opener of this series Tuesday night 4-3 , getting a
game-winning base hit from Jacoby Ellsbury in the bottom of the
Sox won as +130 underdogs on Tuesday's MLB betting line, and the game
played 'under' its total of 8.5.
the loss, and a Baltimore victory, New York is again now tied for
first place in the AL East with the Orioles.
the victory broke a four-game losing streak for Boston.
Cook (3-9, 5.17) gets the start Wednesday for Boston against David Phelps
(3-4, 3.55) for New York.
by our tough standards, is just four-for-14 on quality starts this
year, and the Sox are 4-10 in games he's started. Most recently Cook
held the Mariners to two runs through six innings – but that was
the Mariners. Just before that the A's got him for six runs and seven
hits in less than three innings. And over his last four starts he's
been tagged for 15 ER and 32 hits in 19 2/3 innings.
his one start this season vs. the Yankees Cook gave up six runs and
seven hits, including a couple of dongs, in four innings of a 10-4
Sox loss back in July.
our strict standards Phelps is 0-for-eight this season on quality
starts. His last time out he gave up five runs in four innings vs.
the Orioles, and just before that also vs. the O's he allowed three
runs and issued six walks in 4 2/3 innings. So over his last five
starts Phelps has given up 17 earned runs and 27 hits in 26 2/3
innings. The Yanks have lost three of his last five starts.
three appearances this season vs. the Red Sox Phelps has allowed six
ER and 14 hits in 12 2/3 innings.
a starter this year Phelps owns a 4.54 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP; as a
reliever his ERA is 2.54 and his WHIP is 1.05.
of Wednesday AM most MLB odds shops were listing New York at
around -155 for Wednesday night's game, with a total of 10.
Yanks could also be gotten at around +110 on the run line at some
baseball betting outlets.
MLB Pick for Wednesday
took a loss with New York Tuesday, but fortunately the price wasn't
too bad, with the Yanks going against Lester, who still gets some
respect from the oddsmakers. For Wednesday we're not big one way or
the other on the side, because we don't trust either of these
starting pitchers. So we'll just go with the 'OVER,' and hope Cook
and Phelps live down to their performance levels of previously this
Free MLB Picks: Take the OVER
By: Ron Patrick -
New York just split four games in Baltimore over the
weekend, which means the Yanks haven't won a series since taking two of three
from Cleveland five series ago.
So going into Tuesday's play the Yankees own a one-game lead
over the Orioles in the AL East, a two-game lead on Tampa. But New York has
fallen to four games back of Texas in the battle for the best record in the
The Red Sox, meanwhile, just got swept three games at home
by Toronto, have lost four straight series and 11 of their last 12 games.
Overall Boston has dropped to 15 games under .500 and to last place in the AL
The Yankees lead this season series eight games to four.
Hiroki Kuroda (13-10, 3.14) gets the start for New York
Tuesday against Jon Lester (9-11, 4.99) for Boston. Here's what we're looking
at when sizing up these two pitchers.
Kuroda is 17-for-28 on quality starts this year, although 0
for his last two. His last time out he gave up four runs and eight hits through
six innings vs. the Rays, and just before that he allowed four runs and eight
hits through eight-plus innings vs. the Orioles. But on the season Kuroda has
allowed fewer hits, 169, than innings pitched, 189, and owns a 138/42
Kuroda has started three times this season vs. Boston; two
went good, one went bad. Overall, he's allowed nine ER and 21 hits through 21
2/3 innings vs. the Red Sox this year.
Jon Lester, meanwhile, is 12-for-28 on quality starts this
season, but by our standards is also 0 for his last two. Most recently he gave
up three runs and nine hits through six innings vs. the Mariners, and just
before that he allowed five runs and nine hits in eight innings vs. the Angels.
For the year Lester has given up more hits, 187, than innings pitched, 175, and
his 55 walks bumps his WHIP to 1.38.
Lester has started three times vs. the Yanks this year, one
went good, two not-so-good. Overall he's allowed nine ER and 18 hits over 17
1/3 innings vs. New York this season.
Odds and Trends
In perusing baseball betting outlets Tuesday morning the
best price we could find on the Yankees was the -126 offered at Pinnacle, while
the Red Sox could be found at +120 at The Greek.
New York could also be played at upwards of +115 on the run
line at several different online sportsbooks.
And most MLB odds boards are listing the total on Tuesday's game at
Looking a bit more long-term Bovada is listing the Yankees
at -150 to win this series, with the Sox getting +120 as home dogs.
The 'over/unders' are 41-27 in games played at Fenway Park
New York will be without 1B Mark Teixeira for this series as
he deals with a strained calf. The Yanks are 9-9 this season without Tex in the
Over in the other dugout Boston is still playing without Big
Papi and he deals with a tweaked Achilles. The Sox are 16-34 without Papi in
the lineup this year.
Free MLB Pick for
Kuroda has become New
York's ace, and the Red Sox have packed it in like few teams we can remember.
And the price isn't too bad. We'll take the Yanks Tuesday night.
Free MLB Pick: Yankees