MLB Picks: Red Sox vs. Yankees

Jeff Grant

Sunday, March 31, 2013 4:23 PM GMT

The two marquee, big budget AL East rivals go at it on Monday to commence their open to the MLB season. Who should we back for our MLB picks and how should we play the odds?

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will open up an MLB season against each other for the 31st time Monday, as the two AL East rivals meet at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this high-profile affair, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Moving past a 93-loss season

Boston suffered through one of its worst seasons in recent memory last year, as the franchise looks to start anew with a new manager in the dugout, as John Farrell returns after a two-year stint with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Farrell has experienced dealing with high expectations in Boston—serving as the club’s pitching coach from 2007-10.  He’ll definitely focus on trying to turn around a talented starting rotation that includes Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront, John Lackey and Jon Lester.

Wounded

New York will try to improve upon its 18-11-1 record in 30 previous all-time Opening Day games versus Boston without the services of numerous starts, including Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.  

The Yankees will try to stay afloat in a competitive American League East division, which could be helped along by playing 19 of their first 32 games at home.  

Return to form?

Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester was 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA in 33 starts last season, as he prepares to sit atop the team’s rotation for a third consecutive year.  He’s definitely a candidate to enjoy a bounce-back season, considering he’s won between 15-19 games four times.

In 22 career regular-season starts against the Yankees, Lester has compiled a 9-4 record and 4.10 ERA, including a 6-2 mark and 4.19 ERA in 11 outings at the new Yankee Stadium.

[gameodds]3/223615/43-19-999996-1096-92/us[/gameodds]

Old habit 

CC Sabathia will be making his fifth Opening Day start for the Bronx Bombers and 10th overall, but the club has dropped five of his last seven outings in this fierce rivalry, while the OVER is on a 4-1 run in that situation.

The left-hander was 7-4 with a 2.69 ERA in 13 home starts during the 2012 MLB campaign, with hitters batting .199 against him, while allowing just nine home runs in 97 innings.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Red Sox as one of their MLB picks Monday, as they’ve won six of their last eight road games against the Yankees with Lester on the hill.

MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox +120 at Bookmaker