Baseball Betting Preview: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Friday, July 19, 2013, 7:10 pm Eastern, TV: MLB Net, YES, NESN
Fenway Park – Boston, Massachusetts
Pitching Match-up: Felix Doubront (BOS) vs Andy Pettitte (NYY)
Opening Money Line: Red Sox -150 / Yankees +130
Current Money Line: Red Sox -170 / Yankees +150
Opening Total: over 9 1/2 -120 / under 9 1/2 Even
Current Total: over 9 1/2 -120 / under 9 1/2 Even
Opening Run Line: Red Sox -1 1/2 -110 / Yankees +1 1/2 -110
Current Run Line: Red Sox -1 1/2 -140 / Yankees  +1 1/2 +120

David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox host the rival New York Yankees in a crucial 3 game set starting Friday night.
David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox host the rival New York Yankees in a crucial 3 game set starting Friday night.

Now that baseball’s All-star break is over, focus now turns to the upcoming trade deadline and the playoff push. Baseball’s biggest rivalry returns to Fenway Park to open the unofficial second half of the season as the Boston Red Sox host the New York Yankees for a 3 game series starting Friday night.

Boston leads the American League East with a 58-39 record. In fact, the Red Sox have the best record in the American League. New York is six games behind the Red Sox at 51-44 and 3 games behind the Texas Rangers for the second wild card spot in the AL playoffs. Division rivals the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles are also ahead of the Yankees for the two wild card spots.

Both the Red Sox and Yankees lost their last 2 games before the All-Star break and have gone 5-5 in their last 10. Boston leads the series against New York 4-2 this season and this the first game this season between the two teams at Fenway.  The Red Sox took 2 of 3 at Yankee Stadium to open the season, and again May 31-June 2.

For this game New York will start Andy Pettitte. He is 7-6 this season with a 4.39 ERA and 71 strikeouts. Pettitte has won his last 2 starts including an 8-4 win over Kansas City at Yankee Stadium July 11.  The lefty went 5.2 innings and gave up 4 runs, 3 of them earned. He gave up 8 hits with a walk and a strikeout. In his only start against Boston this season, Pettitte took the win 4-2 in the third game of the season opening series at Yankee Stadium. Pettitte went 8 strong innings, allowing 8 hits and one run, along with 3 strikeouts and a walk.

Boston will start Felix Doubront, who is 6-3 this season with a 3.91 ERA and 91 strikeouts. The lefty won his last two starts including an 11-4 win at the Seattle Mariners July 10. Doubront went 7 innings and allowed 5 hits and one run. Doubront had six strikeouts and 2 walks. Doubront took the win in an 11-1 rout at Yankee Stadium June 1. He went 6 innings in that game and allowed 6 hits and an earned run. He had 6 strikeouts and 3 walks.

As mentioned the Yankees are battling tons of injuries. First baseman Mark Teixeira is out for the season with a broken wrist. Centerfielder Curtis Granderson (finger), 1B Kevin Youklis (back), and catcher Francisco Cervelli (hand) are all on the 60 day DL. Alex Rodriguez (3B) is making several rehab starts at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, and is expected to rejoin the Yankees Monday after undergoing off-season hip surgery. Shortstop Derek Jeter broke his ankle in last years playoffs. He returned to the line-up for one game last week but strained his quadricep and went back on the 15 day DL. Shortstop David Nix is also on the 15 day DL with a hamstring injury. Second baseman Robinson Cano had been the only Yankee star to avoid the injury bug. However, he left Tuesday’s all-star game in the first inning after being drilled in the knee/quad by New York Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey. Cano is listed as probable Friday night. Manager Joe Girardi should be considered for manager of the year for keeping the Yankees in playoff contention.

Cano leads the Yankees in batting average at .302, home runs (21), RBI’s (650, hits (107), and on-base percentage (.386). Rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki is batting .283 with 6 home runs, 25 RBI’s, and 90 hits. DH Travis Hafner, LF Vernon Wells, 1B Lyle Overbay and CF Brett Gardner also contribute to the offense such as it is. The Yankees are 20th or worse in MLB in runs per game, batting average, OPS and home runs. The pitching staff is in the top 10 in team ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts.

Boston is managed by John Farrell. The Red Sox have some injury woes of their own but they aren’t as ravaged as the Yankees. Shortstop Stephen Drew is probable with a hamstring injury. Catcher David Ross (concussion) and CF Ryan Kalish (shoulder) are both on the 60 day DL. Relief pitchers Alex Wilson (thumb), Franklin Morales (shoulder), Andrew Miller (foot), and closer Joel Hanrahan (elbow) are all on the DL as well. Hanrahan is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz leads the team in home runs (19) and RBI’s (65). Second baseman Dustin Pedroia  leads the team in hits with 119 and is tied for second in the AL. He is batting .316 with 65 RBI’s. Mike Napoli, (1B) has 11 home runs and 58 RBI’s. Boston is in the top three in MLB in runs, batting average, OPS, and stolen bases, and #12 in home runs. Boston pitchers are #2 in strikeouts.

The Yankees are 4-0 in road games, 4-1 after an off day, 3-8 as a road underdog, 2-6 against teams with winning records, 0-6 in road games against teams with winning records,  and 2-5 against left-handers. Pettite is 6-1 in his last 7 starts against Boston and also 6-1 at Fen way. The Yankees have won 8 of the last 10 games in Boston.

The Red Sox are 5-0 at home against lefties, 4-0 overall against lefties, when the total is between 9 and 10 1/2, and in Friday games, 10-1 as a home favorite of -151 to -200, 5-1 against teams with winning records, in game one of a series, 18-5 at home, 42-19 as a favorite, and 13-6 overall.

The Yankees need a win badly to start the second half on a good note. While there are still almost 70 games left in the season the Yankees need to start getting on track or they could miss the playoffs. Despite Pettitte’s recent success against the Red Sox, I like Boston at home tonight.

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