Yankee Stadium will host the first of three games tonight between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The Yankees won six of their final seven games, and the Red Sox are coming off a three-game sweep of Oakland.

Boston Red Sox (33-26)

Jon Lester pitcher Boston Red SoxJon Lester (7-2, 3.94 ERA) takes the mound for the Red Sox on Tuesday as they enter one game behind the first-place Yankees in the American League East and the baseball odds makers have them out in front as -120 favorites . After winning four straight starts while allowing just 4 ER and posting a WHIP of 1.07 from April 17 to May 3, Lester has been hit hard over his past five starts. Despite winning three of these appearances, Lester has allowed 21 ER in just 29 innings (6.52 ERA) while posting a WHIP of 1.76.

This will be Lester’s second start against the Yankees this season as he and the Red Sox defeated them 7-5 on May 15 at Yankee Stadium despite allowing 4 ER in 6 IP. Since allowing 7 ER in 3.2 IP in his first career start against the Yankees on August 18, 2006, Lester has made 12 starts against New York and is 7-1 with a 2.83 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 76.1 IP.

New York Yankees (33-24)

The Yankees will send Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34 ERA) to the mound for his 10th start of 2011. Garcia has allowed 3 ER or fewer in seven of his nine starts, and has won his past two starts. Garcia loves the month of June, as he is 28-11 with a 3.79 ERA in his 46 career starts during this month. He lost his only start against Boston this season, when he went up against Lester and the Sox on May 15. He has allowed six runs (5 ER) over 6.1 innings in his two appearances against Boston this season. Prior to 2011, Garcia was 8-2 with a 4.40 ERA in his 16 starts against Sox.

Head to head

Lester has done very well on the road this season, going 4-0 with a 3.30 ERA in his seven starts. He has been especially dominant against AL East teams on the road, as he is 10-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in his past 11 starts against them. The Red Sox have won five of six against New York this season including a three-game sweep in the Bronx from May 13-15. At the betting odds window I am taking Lester and Boston to continue its success against the Yankees.

The MLB betting trends side with the Red Sox.

BOSTON is 15-2 (88.2%, +12.4 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscoring opp by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season this season. The average score was BOSTON 6.3, OPPONENT 2.5 - (Rating = 3*).

Play Against - Any team (NY YANKEES) - after 3 straight games where they stranded 5 or less runners on base, with a hot bullpen whose ERA is under 2.00 the last 10 games. (79-47 since 1997.) (62.7%, +41 units. Rating = 3*).