Looking to keep pace with the Blue Jays in the AL East, the New York Yankees look to take the series in Boston from the Red Sox as favorites on the MLB odds.
If you detected a little extra breeze in the air last night, it just may have come from Fenway Park where the New York Yankees evened their series against the Boston Red Sox with a 3-1 victory. The game saw 28 batters receive a K on their scorecard, 33 of the 184 strikes recorded in the contest of the swing-&-miss variety.
The clubs decide the series with a 4:05 PM (ET) matinee in Boston where Masahiro Tanaka is up next in the New York rotation against Boston rookie Henry Owens. Tanaka and the Yanks are running around -140 on the baseball betting board, BetOnline offering an 8½ run total that carries a $1.25 price for 'over' bettors.
Owens Gets 2nd Shot At Yankees
Though consistent, Tanaka has pretty much been in a win one, lose one pattern since the all-star break. His second half ERA is 3.66 in 54 frames, the bulk of the scoring Tanaka has allowed coming on homers, half of the 20 long balls he has served up coming in that span.
The 2nd-year pitcher has beaten the Red Sox twice this year, both start coming in New York where he allowed a combined seven runs (6 earned) in 11 innings while the Yankees lineup gifted him with 27 plate crossings in the contests. Tanaka split his two appearances at Fenway last season, the loss lasting less than two innings with Boston scoring seven times.
Owens took the loss in Tanaka's August 4 victory over Boston, a game in which the 23-year-old Californian was making his major league debut. The southpaw pitched well for the first five innings before New York broke the game open, but Owens has since responded by helping the Red Sox to three wins in his four subsequent assignments. His curve and off-speed stuff has given right-handed hitters some trouble, but he has gotten himself in trouble nibbling corners and working too deep into counts.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
The series draws to a close with crew chief Larry Vanover calling balls and strikes. Vanover recently turned 60 and is in his 22nd year working MLB games, the baseball odds only slightly leaning 'under in his 23 plate assignments (10-12-1 O/U/P). The last three times the Kentucky native has been under the mask, however, it's 'over' bettors who have cashed, including a Pirates-Cardinals matchup less than three weeks ago that sailed well past a 6½ run scoreboard tally. It's his first game behind the dish at Fenway since his final regular season appearance a year ago, the Yankees taking a 9-5 decision over the Sox.
Sunny skies and temps in the upper-80s are in the Boston forecast today. The season-long trend on the 'under' for these two at Fenway is where I'm going with my free baseball pick.
MLB Pick: Yankees-Red Sox Under 8½ (+105) at BetOnline.