MLB Picks: Expected Scarcity In AL Rivalry Between Red Sox & Yankees

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, May 6, 2016 1:30 PM GMT

Friday, May. 6, 2016 1:30 PM GMT

Rick Porcello of the Red Sox is in terrific form right now while Michael Pineda of the Yankees is much better than what he has shown, so ‘under’ is the MLB pick in the Bronx.

 

MLB Record: 15-18-1, -0.33

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
Runs may come at a premium when one of the more heated rivalries in all of sports gets renewed Friday night as the red-hot Rick Porcello and the Boston Red Sox (17-11, 9-4 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander and currently struggling Michael Pineda and the New York Yankees (9-17, 5-7 home) in the first game of a three-game weekend series from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY at 7:05 ET in a game available on YES.

The posted total at Heritage is 7 for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.

 

Worst to First for Boston?
More than a few experts picked the Red Sox to go from last place in the American League East each of the last two years to first place this year, and so far so good as Boston has indeed moved up to the division lead at 17-11, one-half game ahead of the 16-11 Baltimore Orioles, after beating the White Sox in Chicago the last two nights following a loss in that series opener.

The Yankees meanwhile have fallen to rather uncharted waters for such a proud franchise to last place in the division at 9-17 after being the losing MLB picks in two out of three games to the Orioles in Baltimore. The New York pitching actually performed well during that series, but besides scoring seven runs in a 7-0 win for the lone triumph, the offense continued to struggle in the other two games as it has most of the year, especially in a 1-0 loss last night in 10 innings.

Porcello Already Shut Down Yankees Once
Porcello is flourishing in his second season with the Red Sox after spending the first six years of his Major League career with the Detroit Tigers, as he is a perfect 5-0 in five starts! Granted, Boston has given Porcello some of the best run support in the majors with 5.80 runs per game, but he has also posted a spiffy 2.76 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, meaning that he has not really needed all of those runs and would still be having a great start without them.

Rick allowed four runs in six innings vs. the Blue Jays in Toronto in his seasonal debut, but he has since recorded four straight Quality Starts including tossing 13.1 scoreless innings over his last two outings, the most recent of which came vs. these Yankees in Boston last Saturday where he held the now inappropriately nicknamed Bronx Bombers scoreless on just five hits with six strikeouts vs. one walk in seven innings.

Porcello has a great ratio of 9.92 strikeouts vs. just 1.65 walks per nine innings, and his resulting 3.03 xFIP suggests that his start to this year is not very fluky. Then again, we feel that Porcello has always been a bit underrated for a pitcher that now has a career 3.83 xFIP, a figure that belies his 4.35 career ERA. Now he gets to face a Yankee offense that is an identical 27th in the majors in both batting (.232) and runs scored (3.42 per game) for a second straight start.

 

Pineda Should be Back to Normal Soon
With all of that being said, it is not even a given that Porcello will improve to 6-0 here even if he continues to maintain his current form. After all, the Yankees had held the Orioles scoreless over 21 innings before surrendering the run in the 10th inning last night on a sacrifice fly, and now Pineda hopes to get on track and keep this string of impressive streak of Yankee pitching alive.

Pineda is struggling overall this year at 1-3 with a 6.33 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, but he has already shown over his career that he is obviously a better pitcher than that and he should regress to the norm fairly soon. Besides, it is not as if Pineda has been terrible peripherally as he does have an excellent 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings and he has pitched in bad luck by yielding an abnormally high .359 BABIP.

In fact, even with his weak mainstream stats, Pineda still owns a solid 3.69 xFIP this season, which is not really that far off of his career 3.30 xFIP. Also he did hold these Red Sox to only two runs and five hits as Porcello’s mound opponent in Boston on Saturday, meaning that he has held the Sox to two runs or less in six of his seven career appearances against them as a member of the Yankees!

 

Trending the ‘under’
Finally, Porcello has had one more day of rest than usual and the ‘under’ is 5-2 in his last seven starts when pitching on five days of rest. The ‘under’ is also 8-1-2 in the Yankees’ last 11 games vs. right-handed starters, as well as 5-1-1 in their last seven games overall.

Look for those patterns to continue with another ‘under’ when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees resume their bitter rivalry at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Friday.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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