Make The Red Sox at Home vs. Yankees your MLB Pick Tonight

Darin Zank

Friday, August 1, 2014 2:57 PM GMT

Boston, which made some big news earlier this week by trading three-fifths of its starting rotation, hosts rival New York for a three-game set at Fenway, beginning Friday night (7:10 pm ET). Here's our breakdown of this match-up, with free MLB picks for each contest.

Yanks-Sox Betting Odds
As of early Friday morning this series opener remained unlined, because of the Boston pitching change. The Sox traded scheduled starter John Lackey to St. Louis, and will instead give prospect Anthony Ranaudo a shot.

New York will go with Chris Capuano.

TheGreek was listing Boston at -140 MLB betting odds to win this series, with the Yanks getting +120.

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Series Set-Up
New York just dropped two of three games in Texas earlier this week, losing Wednesday's rubber match 3-2. The Yankees have lost two series in a row and four of their last five games.

Boston just got swept three games at home by Toronto, losing Wednesday's series finale 6-1. The Sox have lost three series in a row and eight of their last nine games.

Big-picture, the Yanks, at 55-52, trail the first-place Orioles by five games in the AL East, while the Sox, at 48-60, are in last place, 12.5 games out of first. New York is also 3.5 games behind Toronto in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.

One unknown for tonight is whether the Boston lineup will include newcomers Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig, who have a combined 24 homers and 111 RBI already this season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have added Martin Prado from Arizona, and even picked up SS Stephen Drew from the Red Sox.

New York leads this season series six games to four, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 6-4 margin.

 

Friday's Starters
Capuano (1-1, 4.30), who began this season with Boston, will be making his second start for his new team. Last Saturday Cappy held Toronto to two runs through six innings of a game the Yankees eventually lost 6-4. On the season, which includes 28 appearances with the Sox, Capuano has allowed 39 hits in 38 innings, walked 19 and struck out 33.

Last year, pitching for the Dodgers, Cappy started once against the Red Sox, allowing two earned runs through five innings of an 8-1 Los Angeles loss.

Anthony Ranaudo, a big kid at 6-7/230, will be making his ML debut Friday. He earned his chance with some good work down in the Minors, going 15-5 over the last season-plus with a 2.53 ERA at Triple-A Pawtucket, allowing 120 hits in 150 innings, with 120 strikeouts against 56 walks.

In the comparison of the bullpens in this series Boston ranks 13th with a 3.51 ERA, with 24 saves in 34 chances, while New York ranks 23rd in ERA at 3.81, with 35 saves in 48 chances.

 

At the Bat
Boston ranks 10th in team OBP at .321 but 26th in scoring at 3.8 runs per game. And the Sox have struggled lately, scoring a total of 18 runs over their last nine games.

New York ranks 17th in OBP at .314 and 16th in scoring at four RPG. That OBP drops to .307 against right-handed pitching.

 

Yanks-Sox Betting Trends
New York has leaned toward the 'unders' this season 59-46.

Boston has also leaned 'under' this year, by a 60-44 margin.

And games played at Fenway Park have tilted 'under' by 35-20.

According to Yahoo Sports New York is 5-5 against rookie starting pitchers this season.

 

Free Pick for Friday
This is a tough game to pick, because of so much uncertainty. Capuano is making just his second start of the year, going against a kid making his ML debut. And who will be in the starting lineups? Our guess is that when this game is lined New York will be favored, but that just means the value might lay with Boston. So we'll take the Red Sox, hopefully at a home-dog price, for our free MLB pick on Friday's series opener.