MLB Predictions 2012: Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

The Boston Red Sox (58-61) and New York Yankees (70-48) will open up a three-game American League East series on Friday night at Yankees Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees  

The New York Yankees open up a three-game series against their biggest rivals on Friday night

Boston snapped a two-game losing streak by capturing a 6-3 road victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night, but the club sits three games below .500 at its latest point in a season since 1997.  The Red Sox are a dismal 5-10 in August and will need their emotional leader to continue his recent production at the plate in hopes of winning this pivotal series.  Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is riding an 11-game hit streak, batting .379 in 15 games this month.  Boston is 2-3 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 this season, with the “under” going 4-1 in that situation.

Red Sox starting pitcher Franklin Morales (3-3, 3.29 ERA) suffered a 5-2 road loss to the Cleveland Indians in his last outing, giving up three runs and two hits in 5.1 innings of work.  The left-hander is 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 16 road outings (four starts), issuing 12 walks and striking out 46 batters in 38.2 combined frames.  In six career games (one start) versus the Yankees, Morales has compiled an even 1-1 record and 7.27 ERA.

New York was unable to complete a four-game sweep of the Texas Rangers on Thursday afternoon in the Bronx, but the club has still won seven of its last 10 games overall.  All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter is enjoying a great month, entering this affair on a 12-game hit streak, which has helped the team preserve a 1.5-game lead over the Rangers for the best record in the Junior Circuit.  New York is 12-7 as a home favorite of -125 to -150, with the “under” going 11-8 in that situation.

Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes (11-10, 4.44 ERA) has suffered back-to-back losses on the road against the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, allowing 11 runs and 17 hits over 8.1 combined innings in that span.  The right-hander is 8-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 12 home starts, surrendering 17 home runs in 74.2 frames.  In 18 career games (10 starts) versus the Red Sox, Hughes has tallied a 3-6 record and 6.17 ERA, including a 10-3 home victory on July 27.

Sports bettors will likely back the Yankees due to their 28-5 record in Hughes’ last 33 home starts with a total of 9 to 10.5, while the Red Sox are 5-15 in their last 20 series openers.

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