Free MLB Pick: Road Dog Red Sox To Knuckle Yankees Tonight

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, May 8, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapper takes a deep dive into the starting pitching matchup on Sunday Night Baseball, and comes out with a clear winner and MLB Pick for your betting convenience.

2016 YTD

After a rough start out of the gate the Boston Red Sox have turned it around in the AL East, just as the New York Yankees fight through an early season swoon. The Yankees have won the first two games of the series and this is the second Sunday Night Baseball appearance in as many weeks. Early odds have the road team Boston Red Sox favored slightly at -120 at BookMaker, while the O/U total has opened at 8 runs across the board with a slight lean on the Ove at -117 at Pinnacle.

One of my preseason picks to really make a difference this year for the Yankees, Luis Severino, has been utterly disappointing and gets the start here. He has awesome stuff, but hasn’t been able to harness it, or MLB hitters are finally figuring him out now that they’ve seen him a few times. Severino has compiled a 0-4 record, 6.31 ERA, 16/5 K/BB rate, .333 batting average allowed, and 1.64 WHIP. Even though those numbers are horrible – actually the lack of walks is good – Severino’s BABIP allowed is a gaudy .363. That is an indicator that he is getting unlucky, and balls are just being hit were people are not.

Severino has only faced Boston once, a 2-1 loss against Steven Wright last September where he gave up just a solo home run while striking out 7 and walking none.

Steven Wright has pitched as Boston’s ace so far this season. Once relegated to a circus sideshow with his knuckleball, Wright is finding success this year to the tune of a 1.67 ERA, 31/15 K/BB rate, 1.14 WHIP, and .188 batting average against. His ERA is a bit inflated though, as Wright is stranding a very high 80.3% of batters that he allows on base. That is higher than his career average, and will even out as the season goes along – unless he is going to post a historic season.

The aging New York lineup has some pieces missing lately, with Alex Rodriguez on the 15-day DL with a hamstring injury, and more importantly, Jacoby Ellsbury day-to-day with a hip injury. Boston’s main injury, to Pablo Sandoval, probably helps them as it forces the Red Sox to not put the struggling Panda in their lineup and to find other options. In his place has been playing Travis Shaw, who has found initial success in posting a .306/.370/.500 slash line. Shaw has already posted a season worth three times more value in WAR than Sandoval did all last year.

Boston has faced right-handed starters in 26 of their 30 games this year and has found offensive success against them in compiling a 16-10 record good for +3.6 units. In those starts against righties the Red Sox are 15-10 O-U while averaging 5.5 runs per game and batting .296 as a team.

New York on the other hand has struggled offensively, period. They are just 4-10 O-U against righties while compiling a 3.6 runs per game average and a team .236 batting average. They do slightly better at home, averaging 4.4 runs per game and carrying a team .254 batting average.

In this matchup there is a measure of trust that we can bring in with the Boston’s offense and valuable starting pitcher that we just can’t extend to the Yankees at this point in time. I’m going against the line movement in this game and taking the Red Sox on the road at +110 at Bovada as my Sunday MLB Pick.  

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Free MLB Pick:  Red Sox +110
Best Line Offered:  at Bovada
MLB Record: 15-8-1, +6.79 Units