The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox renew their rivalry tonight, as we draw closer to the end of Alex Rodriguez’s career. A polarizing figure, Rodriguez has been dubbed a cheater and the biggest postseason choker of all time. Rodriguez won’t get a chance at pulling out postseason magic after he is done playing the game on Friday. Friday will be the final game with the Yankees and of his career. The Yankees are sitting back in the postseason picture, and A-Rod has struggling to find an offensive groove, so he decided that Friday will be it. But let’s be honest, the Yankees had a hand in it and told him his ultimatum. They want him out.
He is hitting .244 with only 7 HRs this season. Rodriguez debuted in 1994 with the Seattle Mariners, spending time elsewhere in Texas and New York. It was quite the career for A-Rod, but his image is going to be forever dashed due to his involvement in steroids. Now the debate will rage on if he belongs in the Hall of Fame, which would be a small miracle if they let him in. Rodriguez is 4 home runs short of 700, so we may see him appear somewhere else in the future.
Another legend of the game, on the other side of the clubhouse, David Ortiz, has indicated that this will be his final season. The Red Sox are in the midst of a furious battle in the AL East with the Blue Jays and Orioles. They could possibly be competing for a wildcard, if they fail to win their division. The Red Sox are currently 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays and O’s who are currently tied. Boston has played well this season, but they’re going to be in a fight down the stretch. They enter with a record of 60-50, while the Yanks are at 56-55. So, yes, the Yankees are still there in the wildcard chase. However, theoretically it’s going to be a tough time for them.
While A-Rod has faltered in 2016, Ortiz has been having a special kind of victory lap. He’s belted 25 deep balls and is hitting .309. No, those are the sort of numbers you expect from a guy who is going to be done with baseball in a few months. He’s definitely going to retire on top of the game. We will see what tonight has in order, as Luis Severino and Rick Porcello duel it out on the mound at Fenway on Tuesday night.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Luis Severino (1-6, 6.02 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (14-3, 3.46 ERA)
Rick Porcello has been looking good in a Red Sox uniform this season. If anything, the Red Sox offense has risen up with him on the mound, as he has posted a record of 14-3 in 2016 with a 3.46 ERA. He has been consistent, which is a great thing for him after struggling with consistency issues throughout his career. Porcello’s best year was in 2013 with the Tigers, a 3.43 ERA for him, so he is close to a career high. He has been particularly good at Fenway Park, yielding a 3.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. And get this, Porcello has yet to lose at home. He owns a perfect 11-0 record at Fenway.
Luis Severino was projected to be the arm in the Yankees’ rotation to give them a chance at the postseason this season. As it’s gone, Severino has struggled badly and is probably the difference between the Yankees and the postseason. After posting a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts last season as a rookie, he’s regressed significantly, with a 6.02 ERA and 1-6 record. In his last three games, he has pitched for a 8.22 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Severino’s last start against the Red Sox produced 4 runs against in 6.2 innings. The long ball killed him, allowing 3 in that contest. Severino is still young though, and posits to be a member of the Yankees’ rotation for years to come. It’s all about the 11-0 Porcello tonight, though. The Red Sox need another stellar performance from him and I think they get it. Boston takes this by more than a run.
PICK: RED SOX -1.5 (+110)