The best rivalry in all of baseball is renewed tonight as the New York Yankees are in Boston to face their hated rivals, the Red Sox. The Red Sox crushed the Yankees last night 15-7, after falling behind 4-0 early in the game. Boston pounded out nineteen hits with Steven Pierce leading the way with a three-homer, six RBI explosion. The Red Sox have the best record in the major leagues and hold a six and a half game lead over the Yankees for first place in the American League East Division race.
Starting tonight of the Yankees is their ace, Luis Severino (14-4 2.94 ERA) and for the Red Sox, it is Rick Porcello (13-4 4.03 ERA). The Yankees are -129 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Fenway Park in Boston.
This article could be about two sentences long. You have the best team in the major leagues as significant home underdogs. Take the juice and back Boston, right? Seems like a no-brainer, but for the sake of being prudent in all of our bets we will take a little deeper dive into this one before making our bet today.
A month ago, Luis Severino was 13-2 with an ERA of 1.98 and seemed to be a lock for the AL Cy Young Award. The guy was just on another level. He was striking out guys at a very high rate and leading his team to victory almost every time he started. Through July 1st, the Yankees were 16-2 in games that Severino started this year. That is impressive.
The last month or so has been less impressive as Severino has hit a mid-season slump. In his last four starts, he has yet to make it past five innings of work in any one start and has gotten hammered for twenty runs in just nineteen and a third innings of work. He has had as many losing decisions in the last two weeks as he has the entire season, with two, and gave up more home runs in the month of July, seven, than he had the entire rest of the year, with six.
In three starts this season against Boston he has had very mixed results. He picked up his first loss of the season way back in April against the Red Sox when he pitched five innings and gave up five runs, all earned, and the Yankees got blown out 14-1 at Fenway Park. He fared much better in New York as in his two starts at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox he was spectacular.
In those two starts, Severino pitched a combined twelve and two-thirds of an inning and allowed just two runs while striking out seventeen, and the Yankees won both games. If there has been a time to fade Severino this year, it has been on the road. His road ERA is almost a run and a half higher than his home ERA, and three of his four losses have come away from Yankees Stadium.
While all the hype in this starting pitching matchup will be surrounding Severino, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello is a guy that has actually won a Cy Young Award recently, taking home the award in 2016. Porcello seems to be right back on track this season after a down year in 2017, and has the second highest winning percentage of his career, trailing only his 2016 campaign.
Porcello’s numbers match up favorably with his results form 2016 and his ERA is coming in at a very respectable 4.03 as he leads his team to a lot of wins this season. The Red Sox are 15-7 this year in games where Porcello starts. He has been a little shaky recently with a 5.74 ERA in the month of July, but that was mostly just one really bad start against the Blue Jays that is inflating that ERA, and the Red Sox were 4-1 in the month, with Porcello picking up the win in all four of the Boston wins.
When the Yankees and the Red Sox play, you can usually throw out the records. These teams hate each other, and they love to see the other team struggle. And that is what is happening right now for the New York Yankees. They are just 7-8 in their last fifteen games and made some underwhelming moves at the trade deadline.
They picked up some much-needed pitching help, but Lance Lynn has been dreadful all year long, and Zach Britton can’t seem to stay healthy. JA Happ, the crown jewel of the Yankees trade deadline moves? He is 35 years old and immediately hit the DL after one start in pinstripes. So, while we all feel like this is a tight division race, maybe it’s not as tight as we think. The Red Sox have a six and a half game lead that is the second biggest lead of any division leader in baseball with only the Indians ten game lead in the terrible AL Central being bigger. The Red Sox are the significantly better team right now.
I see Severino being better than he has been in his last two starts, but as I said at the start of this article if I can get the best team in baseball as home underdogs, I am just probably never passing that up. The Red Sox are on another level, and nothing the Yankees did at the deadline has changed my mind about that. I will back as what I see as the much better team as home dogs today and feel like I am certainly getting the best of it. Give me the Boston Red Sox as big home dogs tonight in Boston at +119!