We fell short on a pair of longshots last night with the Cubs capitulating to the Dodgers in 12 innings, once again undone by some thinness in the bullpen. Meanwhile Oakland has still only scored in one inning since their blockbuster deal at the trade deadline, but fortunately for them, they notched eight runs in that inning and it was more than enough of a cushion to help Jon Lester win his Athletics debut.
It’s the typical afternoon-dominated Sunday schedule, so we will drop in on one of sports best rivalries (albeit with a little luster missing with the Red Sox struggles) for the series finale of Yankees and the Sawks.
Let’s get back to winning ways tonight and dive into today’s free pick.
Today’s Free Pick:
New York Yankees +105 at Boston Red Sox -115 (Total: 9)
David Phelps (5-5, 3.89 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.87 ERA)
The Yankees will be looking for their seventh series win in nine tries against Boston tonight after a big offensive day from the Yankees veterans. Derek Jeter, Mark Texieria and Carlos Beltran turned back time, each notching two hits and driving in a combined four runs yesterday. It’s been good times for Jeter lately at Fenway. He’s hitting .375 over his last 16 games in Boston , and despite two decades of passionate loathing, the Boston crowd has grown an appropriate and, gasp, even a small affection for Jeet-uh.
They could get one more glimpse of the Hall of Famer in Hall of Fame form tonight, as Bucholtz has struggled mightily in his last three starts. He has a 7.94 ERA over that stretch and is coming off a disastrous outing in which he allowed seven runs in five innings. He has had some decent career success against the Yankees, posting dominant numbers against them in 2013 with a 1.13 ERA, however in his lone start against them this season he allowed four runs in six innings.
There is a general sense that Boston has cashed in their chips for this season and is looking to 2015, however it will be interesting to see how the players respond playing out the string. I’m not expecting much from them down the stretch, while I do expect the Yankees to make a valiant push to get Derek Jeter back to the postseason one last time. They may be outmanned against Detroit and Oakland, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them close the gap on Baltimore and challenge for the second wild card spot. Of course that assumes that Brandon McCarthy and David Phelps can steady the rotation.
Phelps had a tough outing last time out, but prior to that he had boasted an eight game winning streak with a 2.96 ERA. I like him to bounce back and pitch well tonight in Fenway. The Yanks have a starting pitching advantage and have been swinging the bats well against Boston, scoring four or more runs in nine of their twelve meetings this year. That makes the plus-money line tonight a pretty good value.