The Boston Red Sox cleaned up against the Yankees last night, as they extended their lead in the American League East to 7.5 games. I don’t want to sound premature, but it looks like there won’t be much drama down the stretch in the division. The Red Sox look ready to go into the postseason as the winners of the AL East. The addition of Ian Kinsler at the deadline isn’t earth shattering, but he does provide an already deep lineup another bat.
It’s never a bad idea to have the best depth in the postseason. The Yanks opted to stay with what they have, which surprised some people, especially considering the injury to Aaron Judge. Judge broke his wrist about a week ago and is slated to be out approximately three weeks. Then who knows if it’s going to continue to bother him after he comes back.
The Red Sox also have a seven-game lead on the Astros for homefield throughout the postseason in the American League. Homefield at Fenway would be great to have in the back pocket, and it’s looking likely that it will be the case. The Astros flashed a few reasons why the Red Sox aren’t going to have an easy path to the World Series, though.
Or should I say one reason: Justin Verlander. That goes for the entire Astros pitching staff which is capable of neutralizing elite offenses. The Dodgers found out, again, what it’s like to run into a hot Verlander. The Yankees will look for a rookie to stop the bleeding against the Red Sox. Chance Adams gets the call up from Triple-A ball to debut at Fenway Park. He gets a tough draw against this Red Sox offense. Newcomer Nathan Eovaldi will get his second start with the Red Sox since being traded from the Tampa Bay Rays. Head below for our free Yankees vs. Red Sox for Saturday afternoon at Fenway.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox Pick
Chance Adams (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (4-4, 3.80 ERA)
Throwing Chance Adams into this situation wasn’t exactly in the cards. However, as a result of the Yankees’ rotation being an absolute mess, they’re giving Adams the go. Ideally, they would have liked to see their new acquisition, J.A. Happ get the start, but he is still out with an illness. Adams is supposed to eventually develop into a gem for the Yankees; he’s a highly touted prospect.
But he hasn’t been pitching well in minor league ball and he’s being thrown to the wolves at Fenway Park. Adams has posted an ERA of 4.50 and 1.31 in Triple-A. It’s his worst year since entering professional baseball in 2015 and now he must go and handle the Red Sox. I’m not so sure that this is going to work out so well, but we’ll see what transpires Saturday afternoon.
Eovaldi has pitched in one game with the Red Sox thus far and was sharp. He blanked the Twins for no runs and just 4 hits across 7 innings. Overall, though, Eovaldi enters with an ERA of 3.80. He came to Boston with a 4.26 ERA and one start helped bump it down. The numbers are about right for a guy who has been around a career 4.00 pitcher.
He played with the Yankees in 2015 and 2016, compiling average ERA’s of 4.20 and 4.76. The Yanks have done well against Eovaldi in 47 at-bats with a .298 batting average. Didi Gregorius in particular has bashed Eovaldi in his career. Gregorius is hitting .556 with a long ball in 9 at-bats against him. The 2nd ranked offense in the majors will have to come and play against the best this afternoon. After a dazzling debut in a Red Sox uniform, I think he comes down a bit vs the Yankees. It should be a fun one with ample runs up on the board at Fenway.