Free MLB Picks for Yankees vs. Red Sox Game 2

Matthew Jordan

Saturday, August 2, 2014 5:14 AM GMT

It's not exactly the type of stellar pitching matchup MLB betting fans are used to in a Yankees-Red Sox rivalry this late in a season for Saturday's Game 2 of their series at Fenway Park. Boston is a -125 favorite on MLB odds with a total of 9.

New-Look Red Sox Offense
Early this week I wrote that bettors should be ready to start fading the Red Sox the rest of the regular season. That was Monday as I projected the Sox would be in full seller's mode ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. And, indeed, Boston was. I will admit this: The Sox went in a bit of a different direction than I expected in that they got back major-league ready talent instead of more prospects. It makes some sense as the Sox already have one of the best farm systems in baseball. They consider this season an anomaly and expect to contend again in 2015 so they wanted guys who can contribute then. Just think if the Sox win the AL East next year. That would mean their past four years would be: worst-first-worst-first.  I believe that would be an MLB first.

Boston has now dealt away 80 percent of its Opening Day rotation in Jon Lester, John Lackey, Felix Doubront and Jake Peavy. The latter was traded over a week ago. Doubront was essentially given away to the Cubs this week as he had been struggling and shipped to the bullpen, where he was complaining about not starting. The Sox did well in the Lester deal, landing Oakland A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The Cuban slugger and two-time Home Run Derby winner adds much-needed power to the Sox and is under team control through next season at a very reasonable salary. He could do some serious damage moving from cavernous O.co Coliseum in Oakland to cozy Fenway Park. He certainly will make some highlight-reel throws on those line drives off the Green Monster. Expect more than a few guys to be gunned down at second and home.

For Lackey, the Sox got outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly from the St. Louis Cardinals. Craig was brilliant last regular season with a .315 average, 13 HRs, 97 RBIs and leading the majors in batting with runners in scoring position. However, he suffered a serious foot injury late in the season and hasn't been the same since. He didn't play a lot in the 2013 postseason and is hitting just .237 this season and slugging .346, both career-lows. It's not a bad risk for Boston to take as Craig is only 30.

Even with an improved offense, the Sox are going to be a bad wager most nights because their pitching staff is now in shambles. You may want to bet plenty of 'overs' in Boston games.

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Probable Pitchers
Yep, it's not exactly CC Sabathia -- the formerly good, healthy version -- against Lester in this one but instead the underwhelming matchup of Shane Greene and Allen Webster. The Yankees' Greene (2-1, 3.28) has been a nice surprise thus far in his first four career starts, although the Yankees have lost his past two, with Greene allowing seven runs and 13 hits over 11 innings. He has failed to get into the sixth in those two after doing so in his first two, when he allowed only two combined runs over 13.1 innings. The rookie made his big-league debut on April 24 at Fenway Park in relief, allowing three runs and walking three in a third of an inning. He clearly was a bit nervous.

Check Out Our Betting Guru's MLB Pitching Pitching Report for August 2nd!

Webster (1-0, 3.38) is one of Boston's top prospects and will be given every chance to win a spot in the 2015 rotation with his performance the rest of this year. Webster was called up to make his first 2014 appearance last Sunday at Tampa Bay. He allowed two runs and three hits over 5.1 innings but was a bit wild, walking five. Webster pitched one inning of relief last year against the Yankees, allowing a run.

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MLB Free Picks
Heavier on the 'over' 9 runs than on New York at +115. It would be a surprise if both pitchers make it through five innings. Boston is 1-5 in its past six against a right-handed starter. The 'over' is 6-2 in Webster's past eight starts. The 'over' is 5-2 in the past seven meetings at Fenway entering Friday.