We came up just short of having a huge day yesterday when we backed the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees. To see baseball’s best team as major underdogs just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, so I backed Boston and looked for the big upset. And we looked like we might just pick up that big upset as the Red Sox scored early and took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. Nathan Eovaldi pitched six shutout innings for Boston, allowing just two hits, and outdueled JA Happ who himself threw six innings, giving up just one run.
But alas, the Boston bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, and the Yankees posted a three-spot in the seventh to take the lead for good. Boston made a run in the ninth when they plated one run and had two runners on and just one out when Ian Kinsler grounded into a game-ending double play. What can you do, getting the opportunity to back the best team in baseball as big underdogs was just too much value to pass up on. For today’s pick, I will take another shot at this series as I break down game two between the Yankees and the Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox will look to clinch the American League East Division title for a second consecutive night as they play the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York. With a win tonight, Boston will clinch the division crown, and they would love to celebrate on their biggest rival’s home field. The Yankees delayed the inevitable last night in game one of the series and will look to delay it again tonight in game two.
Starting for the Yankees is Luis Severino (17-8 3.46 ERA), and for the Red Sox, it is David Price (15-6 3.42 ERA). The Yankees are once again big favorites at -143. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
There has been an enormous amount of hype surrounding Luis Severino this year. And rightly so. He came into the season expecting to take a big step up and be the ace of this Yankees rotation and for the first half of the season very much looked the part. Severino was named to the American League All-Star team this season, and at the break had a 14-2 record and a 2.12 ERA. But things have really fallen off for Severino here in the second half of the season.
Since the break, Severino has had an ERA north of five runs and has been very shaky. He has gone 3-6 in that stretch, and the Yankees are just 5-6 in those eleven starts. Severino has been inconsistent against the Red Sox this season as he is 1-2 in four starts. In Boston, Severino lost twice in two starts and allowed nine earned runs in just ten and two-thirds of an inning. In New York, he fared much better as he is 1-0 and has allowed just two runs in twelve and two-thirds of an inning.
Severino had been nearly unhittable at home this season but has really started to struggle down the stretch in Yankee Stadium for the Bronx Bombers. In his last four home starts, Severino has given up fourteen runs. He is 2-2 in those four starts. With the one-game playoff looming for the Yanks the foregone conclusion of Severino starting that game may be in doubt as he continues to struggle. Especially when you look at how well Tanaka and Happ have been pitching for the Yankees.
While it has been Severino getting all the hype, it is David Price that has fewer losses and a lower ERA at this point of the season. Price had a slow start but has been great the last two months. Price has an ERA of less than two runs in his last nine starts and has really been pitching well for Boston. Price has one losing decision since June! And the Red Sox have won ten out of his last eleven starts. Price has been overshadowed this season by the elite numbers that Chris Sale is posting, but make no mistake, Price has been solid this season and spectacular down the stretch for the Red Sox.
This is yesterday’s pick all over again. We are going to back the better team with the slightly worse starter on the mound. I think on a neutral field I might just take Price over Severino right now. But with Price struggling some on the road this season and Severino doing his best work at home, I can buy Severino being the better of these two starters. But not by much.
And as I said yesterday, getting the best team in baseball and a bunch of dog money is just too good to pass up on. It probably should have come in for us last night, and I expect that it will tonight. Baseball betting isn’t always about getting every pick right, it’s about taking advantage of bad numbers and yesterday’s number was certainly a bad one, and today’s number is as well. Give me the Boston Red Sox as big road dogs tonight in game two at +133!