If you just glanced at the scoreboard last night, you would think we got our pick way wrong yesterday. That just wasn’t the case. We lost when we backed the Baltimore Orioles at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. The final score of 7-1 might lead you to believe this was a blowout, it wasn’t. It was actually a very competitive game that had its fair share of controversy. I really liked Dylan Bundy in this matchup, and he did not disappoint. The young right-hander pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out ten.
Now to the controversy.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Jays pitcher J.A. Happ really started to struggle. Happ allowed three of the first four hitters to reach base and had to face Adam Jones with the bases loaded and just one out, in a one-run game. Jones hit a comebacker right to the pitcher who came home for the force out, the catcher then whipped the ball back towards first base looking for the double play to end the inning. Instead, the ball hit Jones right in the back and squirted off into right field. This allowed the tying run to score and moved another runner to third base. The game was tied and the Orioles most prolific power hitter, Chris Davis, was at the plate to try and put Baltimore in the lead.
But wait! The umpire decided to call interference on Jones, and he was called out. No run scored, no tie game, and they let Happ off the hook when he was really struggling.
I am not sure where else Jones could have been running to not be in the way of the ball and that call really changed the dynamic of the game. The Orioles bullpen ended up giving up five runs in the ninth inning to make it look like a blowout but who’s to say this game wouldn’t have gone very differently if not for that one call. What can you do, sometimes the calls don’t go our way, and it costs us a game. Today I will break down the matchup between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
The best rivalry in baseball is renewed Monday as the New York Yankees are in Boston for game one of a three-game series with the Red Sox. The Yankees have been struggling as of late and come into this series having lost three out of four to Baltimore. For Boston, the Red Sox are red-hot and have the best record in the majors. Boston has won eight straight games after losing on opening day to the Tampa Bay Rays. Both teams will be starting the ace of their staff, Luis Severino (2-0 1.38 ERA) for New York and Chris Sale (0-0 .82 ERA) for Boston. The Red Sox are -133 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Fenway Park in Boston.
What a great game and a great rivalry. Both teams have their best arm on the mound, and you can expect a hard-fought battle from both teams as the squads meet for the first time this year. The Yankees haven’t quite lived up to their hyped-up billing this season. They are just 5-5 on the year, and new addition Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t been putting the bat on the ball. Here is an interesting stat for you. Stanton struck out sixteen times in the first week of the season for the Bronx Bombers. In 1941 Joe DiMaggio struck out just thirteen times all year long. So, any of you that were quick to anoint Stanton as the next in a long line of Yankee greats might want to hold off just a minute.
New York will start Luis Severino tonight. Severino has been lights out so far this year. Severino is 2-0 and has fourteen strikeouts in his thirteen innings of work. The young right-hander throws fire, and it looks like he is ready to make the big jump from prized prospect to ace of the staff. Severino will need his best stuff tonight if we wants to go toe to toe with Chris Sale and leave a winner.
Chris Sale has given up just one run so far this year in eleven innings of work and has fifteen strikeouts. Unfortunately, though, he has zero wins to show for it as run support and the bullpen have hurt Sale this year. He has also seen his pitch count swell early in games and hasn’t gone past the sixth inning in either of his two starts. I expect that will change soon as Sale is known for going deep into ballgames.
Chris Sale is the man. But in this matchup with Severino, the starting pitching matchup is close to a wash. Severino is really that good. So what separates this for me tonight? The fact that I feel Boston is the much better and more well-rounded team. They are playing with a swagger right now and have won eight straight games. And really, they probably should have won all nine games as Joe Kelly decided to single handily give away the win on opening day.
For New York, some of their big bats have gotten off to a very slow start. Stanton is hitting just .167. Gary Sanchez is hitting an even worse .063. Brett Gardner is hitting only .238. That is the heart of this Yankees lineup, and they need those guys to start hitting if they want to have better than a .500 record.
I hate betting against Luis Severino, but I love getting to back Chris Sale at such a small price. Most of the time if you want to back Sale you are going to have to lay -200 or more, tonight it is just -133. I can’t pass up on getting Sale and this red-hot Red Sox team at such a low number. It will be a hard-fought game, but I am laying a little wood and backing the home team tonight.
Give me the Boston Red Sox -133 tonight at home against the hated Yankees!