Sunday means NFL football for most sports fans, and obviously there is a packed slate of awesome matchups today starting at 1pm EST and running all the way until almost midnight. Enjoy some pigskin, and be sure to check out some great picks and write ups on the rest of the site. But for my fellow baseball aficionados, we have some fantastic action today as well.
Most games are matinees on Sunday, but we will focus today’s free pick on the evening ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week, featuring the two most traditional and fiercest rivalries in baseball, the Sox and the Yankees.
Today’s Free Pick:
New York Yankees +155 at Boston Red Sox -162 (Total: 8.5)
Ivan Nova vs. Clay Bucholtz
The Red Sox are not only running away with the division, but there are burying their hated-rival Yankees in the wildcard race. Boston has won eight of the last ten games head-to-head, including the first two of this series and three of four last week in the Bronx. The Yankees are now three games back in the wildcard race, and can ill-afford another loss.
But in order to avoid it, they are going to have to do something no one has done yet this year, beat Clay Bucholtz. He is 10-0 during his injury shortened season, and the Sox are 12-1 in games in which he has pitched. He is making only his second start since returning from a three-month stint on the DL, but he show little ill-effects in beating the Rays 2-0 (though he was restricted to just five innings). I expect the Sox to stretch him out a little more tonight, assuming he is giving them the same fantastic results.
Meanwhile, the Yankees will counter with Ivan Nova, who has been excellent this season and emerged as their solid #2 starter (if not 1A). However, his last start was a loss to these same Red Sox, after allowing three runs in just four innings and leaving early with tightness in his arm. The Yankees are going to need a big effort from him if they are going to knock off Bucholtz tonight.
The Yankees are going to have to do it with a make-shift lineup tonight. Alex Rodriguez is expected to play, though he isn’t 100%. However, Soriano is doubtful and Gardner is not playing. Add that to the insane injury list for the Yankees that includes Jeter, Youkalis, Texieria, and Hafner, and it’s pretty impressive the Yankees have hung around this long. Girardi is catching heat?? He should be getting manager of the year votes.
The Red Sox are hitting an insane .280 and averaging 5.5 runs per game off right handed pitching this season. These are EASILY the best marks in all of baseball. I think they’ll score enough runs off Nova tonight to support Bucholtz and grab him his 11th win against zero defeats. By the way, if Bucholtz IS healthy heading into the playoffs, Boston becomes downright terrifying to match up against…
I like the Sox tonight, and I’m going to double up on the runline to get a little more value.
Free Picks: Boston Red Sox to WIN -162 & Red Sox -1.5 (+125)