Sunday Night ESPN Baseball
The Red Sox and Yankees will square off in the finale of a three game series on Sunday night. The opening pitch at Yankee Stadium is slated for 8:05 PM ET, and it will be televised by ESPN. Current MLB betting odds at BetUS.com has Boston as a -112 money line favorite and the listed total is 8.0. The Red Sox have taken the first two games of the series, winning 5-3 on Friday, and 5-2 yesterday. Sunday will be the ninth game of the season between these AL East rivals, and Boston has gone 6-2 thus far.
Boston will go with veteran southpaw David Price on the mound tonight. Since signing him to a free agent contract this past offseason, Price hasn’t been nowhere near dominant as the Red Sox had hoped for. Although, he’s shown some signs of his old self over his last two starts, evidenced by his 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in those outings. Despite an uninspiring ERA of 4.34 in 2016, Price still remains an elite power pitcher, and that’s supported by his 140 strikeouts in 124.0 innings if work this season. It must be noted, Price made two starts against New York in early May, and compiled an awful 9.25 ERA. However, in his defense, that was at a time he was enduring monumental struggles.
The Yankees will go with right-hander Masahiro Tanaka this evening. Tanaka has an impressive 3.23 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over the course of 18 starts in 2016. Yet, he’s encountered problems over his last three outings at home, and that’s verified by a sizable 6.87 ERA in those appearances. Tanaka has made three career starts at Yankee Stadium against Boston, and gathered an unimposing 5.63 ERA. He’ll once again have his hands full tonight against an opponent with a daunting .291 team batting average.
Money Line Betting Angle
Any American League road team (Red Sox) that’s +125 to -125 on the money line, using a starting pitcher (Price) with an ERA of 4.20 to 4.70, and possesses a team batting average of .285 or more, facing an American League starting pitcher (Tanaka) with an ERA of 4.20 or less, resulted in those road teams going 30-10 (75%) since 1997. The road teams also had a huge +2.3 run per game differential over those 40 contests.
Final Take and Pick
The Red Sox are showing signs of a team ready to go on a torrid second half surge. They enter today having gone 8-1 in their last nine, and that includes a current six game win streak. You’d be hard pressed to make a case for another team in baseball which is a better overall hitting team than Boston.
The Yankees continue to be anemic offensively, relyong heavily on starting pitchers giving them six solid innings, and then turning it over to an excellent back end of their bullpen. Some things are much easier said than done. One of my Sunday MLB picks will be on the road team in this AL East battle.
Pick: Red Sox -112