August 31 Odds: Round 1 of Long Weekend in Bronx Will Go to Red Sox

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:34 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 12:34 PM UTC

We’ve still got five weeks to play in the 2017 season, but the Yankees and Red Sox have only four games left with each other, and we have a free MLB pick for Thursday’s series opener.

MLB Season Record: 67-71-4 (+0.07)

Unless there are more matchups ahead in the playoffs, get ready to say adios for 2017 to one of baseball’s top rivalries when the Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees for a long 4-game set this weekend in the Bronx. We begin with Thursday night’s battle that can be seen on the MLB Network, and close with a free baseball pick in ESPN’s Sunday night broadcast.

Boston arrives in New York with a 5½-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East after sweeping three in Toronto, and the Red Sox send lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4, 4.19) to the mound for Game 1 of this set. New York was just swept by Cleveland in a series that included a doubleheader on Wednesday that was made necessary by a rainout the day before. Southpaw CC Sabathia (10-5, 3.82) is up for the Yankees tonight, Bookmaker listing New York -118 with 9 for the total.


BoSox 0-4 Vs. CC Last Four Matchups

August started well for Rodriguez with a pair of quality starts, including six innings of 2-hit, shutout baseball against the Yankees. His bullpen blew that effort, however, and the Red Sox have dropped two of his subsequent three assignments since then with the young Venezuelan allowing 12 runs in the 17.2 combined frames.

Sabathia has dominated the Sox this year, winning all three of his assignments so far, two of those against 2016 AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and another against Chris Sale, who is tentatively slated to start the series finale for Boston. In all, Sabathia has allowed just two earned runs in 20 innings against the AL East leaders, giving up 12 hits and whiffing another dozen against six free passes.


Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Talk about an even rivalry in recent years, New York holds a slim 82-81 edge over the Red Sox since the start of the 2009 campaign, and the Yankees are up 8-7 this season. Since the new stadium opened in the Bronx, the clubs have played exactly half a season on this diamond, the pinstripe posse leading 41-40 and the rivals tied 3-3 this year. Four of the six games at Yankee Stadium in 2017 went ‘over’ the totals after the ‘under’ dominated the MLB odds in 2016 (2-7 O/U).

There is a slight chance of rain this afternoon in the Big Apple, but nothing that will keep the game from being played. Look for temps in the low-to-mid 70s most of the game with a 10-13 mph NW blow (out to right). Sabathia’s recent dominance over Boston would normally have me backing the Yankees, but instead, I’ll make a play on the Sox.

Free MLB Pick: Red Sox +112Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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