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Yankees at Red Sox Pick for April 22nd

New York Yankees -132 at Boston Red Sox +122

CC Sabathia (1-0, 5.57 ERA) vs. Daniel Bard (0-2, 4.63 ERA)

One of the oldest and perhaps most contentious rivalries in professional sports takes center stage tonight on ESPN’s Sunday Night Game of the Week when the Red Sox hosted the hated Yankees at Fenway Park.  The Yankees have taken the first two of the series, including yesterday’s epic comeback that left the Fenway faithful stunned and disgruntled.  The Sox had a 9-1 lead heading into the seventh when the Yankees mounted back-to-back seven run innings, batting around in consecutive innings en route to a 15-9 victory.

To make things nice and fun tonight, the Sox will have the media circus from the Fenway 100th Anniversary and all the extra attention and focus that provides as well.  At this point, any shift of focus can’t really be afforded – the Sox need to hone in on their pitching woes and find a way to start generating some consistent offense without Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford.

The Red Sox have the worst ERA in all of major league baseball at a staggering 6.68.  The next team on the list in 29th place is the Minnesota Twins, a run and a half better at 5.23.  Just to put some perspective on the Red Sox pitching through 14 games, if this were to continue through the end of the season (unlikely) it would be the worst overall pitching performance in the modern era of baseball.  Obviously, they have some talent.  Josh Beckett and John Lester would be pretty attractive to just about any GM in baseball, the same for Clay Bucholtz.  However, the early results have been disastrous.

You know you are having a tough season when nearly every article about Boston has to include the phrase” Bobby Valentine’s job isn’t in jeopardy.”  Who has to justify their employment at the seaosn’s 1/12 mark?!?  It’s getting ugly in Beantown, and having the Yankees in your stadium doesn’t make things easy for a struggling pitching staff.  Right now, the Yankees are second in the AL in team batting with a .285 average, and their 90 runs scored is only one behind league leader Texas.  It isn’t a fluke – this team, especially if Jeter continues to produce like the vintage Jeter of old, this team will be among the league leaders all season long.

And we haven’t even discussed CC Sabathia yet.  The rock of the Yankees staff has yet to pitch his best this season, but still remains a perennial Cy Young contender and one of the most durable and dominat pitchers in all of baseball.  And tonight, I have the chance to get Sabathia facing the worst pitching staff in baseballs fifth starter and only lay -130?!?  It sounds great to me.  Give me the big guy and Yankees to win tonight in Fenway and complete the season sweep.

Free Pick:  New York Yankees -132