Can the Sox put the Yanks even further in the hole in the AL East standings? Or can New York make up some ground on the Beantowners? And how might we bet Friday's game?
Friday's Betting Lines
In the early betting on Friday's game most books were listing Boston and Felix Doubront at around -160 over New York and Andy Pettitte, with an OVER/UNDER of 9.5 runs. The Red Sox had opened at around -150, so there's been a lean toward Beantown in the early wagering.
The Sox could also be gotten at around +120 on the run line at various baseball betting outlets.
And The Greek was chalking Boston at -180 to win this series, with the Yankees getting +160 on the MLB odds boards.
Yanks-Sox Series Set-Up
The Red Sox lost two of three games in Oakland just before the All-Star break, capping off a 5-5 West Coast road trip.
The Yankees, meanwhile, dropped two of three games at home to Minnesota going into the break. And in losing five of their last eight games the New Yorkers were held to two runs or less five times.
So at 58-39 Boston leads the AL East by 2.5 games over second-place Tampa, with New York, at 51-44, six games back.
So far this season Boston has taken four of six games from New York.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Doubront (6-3, 3.91), by our tough standards, is only 7-for-16 on quality starts this season, but four for his last five. And he'd be five for his last five had he just gotten three more outs a few starts ago against Detroit. Last time out he held Seattle to one run through seven innings, and over his last five starts he's allowed just seven earned runs in 33 innings.
For the season Doubront has given up 97 hits in 99 innings and struck out 93, but he's also walked 43, which is some cause for concern.
Boston won Doubront's first four starts this year, but despite his recent good efforts the Sox are just 6-6 over his last 12 outings.
In his one start this season vs. New York Doubront gave up just one run and six hits in six innings of an 11-1 Sox win back on June 1. Last year, in four appearances vs. the Yanks, Doubront allowed seven ER and 16 hits, but also walked 14, in 25 innings; Boston split those four games.
Pettitte (7-6, 4.39) is only 6-for-16 on quality starts this year, and 0 for his last six. Most recently he gave up three ER and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings vs. Kansas City, and over his last six starts he's allowed 22 ER through 37 innings.
On the season Pettitte has permitted 108 base hits in 98 1/3 innings, walked 27 and struck out 71.
In his one start this year vs. the Red Sox Pettitte held them to one run through eight innings of a 4-2 Yanks victory back on April 4.
Yanks-Sox, Statistically Speaking
Boston leads the Majors in scoring at 5.1 RPG and team OPS at .793.
New York, on the other hand, playing with a make-shift lineup almost all season, ranks 21st in scoring at 3.9 RPG and just 27th in OPS at .684.
Yanks-Sox Betting Trends
The OVER/UNDERS have gone 22-23 in games played at Fenway Park this season.
New York has won eight of the last 10 games in this series played in Boston; might it be time for that mini-trend to reverse itself?
Yanks-Sox Injury Update
New York is still playing without Mark Teixeira (out for the year), Curtis Granderson, A-Rod and Derek Jeter, and 2B Robinson Cano is dealing with a sore leg after getting plunked in the All-Star game.
Meanwhile, Boston is fairly healthy.... other than maybe being a little thin in the bullpen.
Our Take on Friday's Game
We'll give Doubront the edge in the pitching match-up, based on recent performances, and Boston definitely gets the check-mark with the sticks. So while we don't like going with the steam we can't help but like the Sox for Friday's game. But we also like to gamble, so in searching for a better price we'll go with Boston on the run line for our free MLB pick for Friday.