Imagine being a rookie with exactly five innings of major league pitching under your belt, and having to face a red hot Yankees lineup that is the modern-day “murderers row,” featuring DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. That is exactly the situation that rookie Red Sox starter Tanner Houck will find himself in on Sunday’s series finale between the AL East rivals. At least there is not much on the line, as the Yankees are solidly in second place while the Red Sox are not going to finish above fifth in the AL East. For the Red Sox, this is a great opportunity to evaluate an arm that could possibly be a mainstay in the future rotation.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are on a roll. Winners of nine straight heading into Saturday evening’s game, the Yankees have passed the Blue Jays and are surging heading into the playoffs. It helps that the main cogs of the lineup and rotation are now fully healthy and starting to produce. Still, the Yankees have had one of the more impressive seven-game performances in the history of baseball. And with the postseason fast approaching, the Yankees could very well be the favorite in the AL despite being the fourth seed.
Massive Week for Yankees Bats ContinueThrow any and all road and righty splits out the window, because the only stat that matters is the Yankees performances of the last seven games. The lineup has combined to slash a ridiculous .308/.390/.679 with a 1.068 OPS and 21 home runs while posting a .305 BABIP. During that stretch, the Yankees have outscored their opponents 64-23.
DJ LeMahieu has been one of the reasons for the surge, slashing .407/.484/1.037/1.521 with four home runs over that stretch, and Giancarlo Stanton has slashed .417/.500/.833 with an OPS of 1.333 at the same time. In addition to LeMahieu and Stanton, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and Gary Sanchez all have posted an OPS over 1.000.
The Yankees lineup will be looking to support rookie Deivi Garcia. The last time Garcia pitched, the Yankees provided 20 runs of support, which was way more than he needed. Garcia gave up just three runs on six hits in seven innings against the Blue Jays that game, and currently has a 3.97 FIP and a pristine 0.973 WHIP. In 24.2 innings this season, Garcia has struck out 24 batters and only walked four, displaying pinpoint command to go along with decent swing and miss stuff.
Boston Looking to Salvage A Game Against the YankeesThis season has been historic for the Red Sox, and not in a good way. At press time, the Red Sox were trailing 7-0 in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. If that score holds up, the Red Sox are staring at playing an entire season without beating their arch-rival Yankees. That would mark the first time in the history of the Red Sox organization dating back to 1901 that they have not beaten the Yankees at least once. To do so, the Red Sox are going to have to tame the extremely hot Yankees lineup and will turn to rookie Tanner Houck to do so.
Houck has exactly five innings of work under his belt. Last week, Houck held the Marlins scoreless over five innings, allowing just two hits while striking out seven. That promising start gives the Red Sox a bit of hope. Supporting Houck will be key, as the Red Sox have managed to slash a respectable .249/.313/.389 with seven home runs over the past seven games. Christian Arroyo has led the way with a 1.148 OPS and three home runs over the past seven games. Alex Verdugo has hit very well at home (.323) and against right-handed pitching (.322) this season.
- Boston: 1-7 in last eight games at home
- Boston: 1-5 in last six games at home against the Yankees
- New York: 10-0 in last 10 games against Boston
- New York: 9-0 in last nine games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s no way I would pick against the Yankees right now. The bats are scalding hot and the pitching has been extremely effective recently. And given the chance to embarrass the Red Sox by sweeping the season series (assuming Saturday’s score holds up), the Yankees should come out completely focused and playing their best, which is way better than the Red Sox could hope to play.
Prediction: New York -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The totals for both teams have trended OVER recently. Four of the last five Yankees games have gone OVER, as has five of the last seven Red Sox games. Considering that the red hot Yankees lineup is facing an inexperienced rookie, I would definitely go with the OVER here, and the Yankees just might get the OVER total without help from the Red Sox.
Prediction: OVER 10