The Boston Red Sox are in the Bronx tonight for the Sunday night baseball game of the week, looking to tie up the four-game series with the Yankees. The Yanks took game one Thursday, 6-2, behind a solid start from C.C. Sabathia and a Gary Sanchez homer. The Sox tied the series up at one game apiece the following night as they were able to hit three homers and handed Sonny Gray yet another loss in pinstripes. Game three was once again taken by the Bronx Bombers, 5-1, behind an uncharacteristically strong start from Masahiro Tanaka, who went seven strong and gave up only one run in the win. Tonight, we see a matchup of both team’s ace pitchers. The Red Sox will start Chris Sale (15-6 2.77 ERA) in game four, the Yankees will counter with Luis Severino (11-6 3.14 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 4:38 PM PST from Yankee Stadium.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Boston Red Sox (77-59) at New York Yankees (72-63)
Chris Sale looked human in August, as he got rocked twice, both times by the Cleveland Indians. It was a rare rough patch for Sale, as he has spent most of the season as the best pitcher in the American League. Sale snapped back into form in his last start, shutting down the Toronto Blue Jays to the tune of seven shutout innings, only three hits, and striking out eleven along the way. It was a vintage Sale performance, and there is no reason to think Sale is anything less than his stellar self, coming into this one. As long as Sale isn’t facing the Indians, he seems like as sure of a thing as there is in baseball these days. Sale leads the American League in wins with 15, and his 264 K’s are also tops in the majors. The Yankees will send their strikeout artist, Luis Severino to try and match Sale.
Luis Severino has nasty stuff. His 192 punch outs are fourth in the American League, and his ERA of just 3.14 is also top four. He is having a true breakout season, and you won’t find many games down the stretch where Severino is going to be an underdog. In his last start against Boston on August 12th, Severino suffered through his worst start of the year. He got pounded for eight runs in just 4.1 innings by this high-octane Boston offense. I don’t expect Severino to repeat that performance, but this Boston lineup has made many a great pitcher look bad this year, they can really slug the ball.
It is looking like the Yankees won’t catch the Boston Red Sox this year for the American League East title. They made a couple of big moves at the trade deadline and took their best shot, but it’s looking more and more likely that Boston is going to be able to hold them off and take the division. Currently, 4.5 games back with a month to play, if the Yankees are going to make their move, it has to start now. I just don’t see any way that they get to Chris Sale tonight.
Sale seems to be back on track after a rocky start to the month and can absolutely shut down any team he faces. Severino is good, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him strike out as many as ten in this matchup, but I don’t think he will be able to hang with Sale all game long. This is one of the lower lines we have seen on Sale this year, and I can’t help but take advantage of that value. This series has been mostly low scoring, and I expect that trend to continue tonight, but I think in the end Sale will just be too much and expect them to walk out of Yankee Stadium with the win and the series split.
Give me the Red Sox tonight as small road favorites.
PICK: Red Sox -135