If Red Sox Get Tuesday's Game in vs. Yankees, the Bet Is ...

rick porcello

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 1:07 PM GMT

Rain, rain, go away baseball fans want the Red Sox-Yankees opener to play. Boston hosts the Pinstripers at Fenway Park for the first of a three-game series Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET). Rick Porcello and Luis Severino are scheduled to duel, but a washout may be in the works with a storm expected at game time.

New York Yankees (11-7)         

The Yankees are one of baseball’s biggest surprises in April. At 11-7, their plus-30 run differential is the biggest in MLB. Manager Joe Girardi’s men are playing well in all aspects of the game, but it’s the bullpen making the key difference. The cleanup crew’s 1.39 ERA and .172 batting average allowed are the lowest of all MLB teams, having yielded just eight earned runs through 51.2 frames.

The unpredictable Luis Severino will get a chance to earn his first win over Boston on Tuesday night.  The Dominican is 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA in four career appearances vs. the Sox. Severino has started the season well, putting in two quality starts in three efforts. He is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA. Armed with a lightning-bolt fastball, the right-hander is tossing his change-up more (17.1 percent as opposed to 8.9 in 2016), keeping hitters off balance.

The Yankees are 9-16 SU in Severino’s starts, losing 29 percent for investors. Five of these victories have come in eight games when favored by more than -130 in the betting market. In all other contests, New York is 4-13 SU, yielding 5.65 runs per game.

 

Boston Red Sox (11-8)

The Red Sox own MLB’s best team batting average (.278) and accrue the most hits per game (9.6). Lacking in the lineup is power. The franchise is missing now-retired David Ortiz in the middle. Boston, despite the Green Monster, is hitting just 0.58 home runs per contest, dead last in the bigs. Not the best sign with the nature of long balls prevalent in today’s offensive paradigms. Scoring 4.05 runs per game, one has to go back to 2014 to find the last time the Red Sox averaged fewer (4.04) on April 27. That year, the then-reigning World Series champions slumped to a 71-91 record.

Manager John Farrell turns to his No. 1 Rick Porcello for the opener on Tuesday. The reigning Cy Young winner is underperforming, going 1-2 with a 5.32 ERA and 1.52 WHIP through three outings. Porcello admittedly relied on his fastball too much in his first efforts, but worked his slider in more in a 3-0 loss at Toronto last time out. Expect his inflated numbers to dwindle soon.

Overall, the Sox are lucrative 40-26 SU behind Porcello all-time. The staff allows 4.05 runs per game, but are propped up by 5.26 from the lineup. One area of concern is the team’s record vs. opponents averaging more runs on the season. Boston is just 6-8 SU behind Porcello in this situation, losing nearly 14 percent invested.

One dilemma for the Sox in this series is injuries, particularly to the infield. Leadoff hitter and second baseman Dustin Pedroia is questionable with a sore left knee following a collision with Baltimore’s Manna Machado over the weekend. The oft-injured Pablo Sandoval is out as well with a right knee injury, sustained while diving for a ground ball on Sunday. Backup Brock Holt is also on the DL with dizziness.

 Final Analysis

Oddsmakers are adjusting the line in the Yankees favor after opening the Pinstripers +138 underdogs. The odds have dipped to as low as +110 as of publication. The Sox intrigue us more here with the Yanks’ record inflated due to a lot of games in the Bronx. New York is just 3-6 on the road. Still, we’re not sure testing their red-hot bullpen is worth it at the moment.

Value may be uncovered in the first-half total. The 'over/under' has dropped to 8 from 9 overnight, in part due to a rainy forecast with gusty winds. But neither starter instills a ton of confidence. Porcello is in the process of trying to figure it out, while Severino, who has a horrible history against the Sox, can implode at any moment. Severino, in fact, yields 3.0 runs on average through the first five in eight road starts against AL East rivals, including gifting five in his only Fenway outing.

MLB Free Pick: 'Over' 3.5 First 5 InningsBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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