When you bet on the side facing the New York Yankees and see #42 coming into the game, you know your chances are slim. In fact, those chances were none on Saturday afternoon when New Yorkevened the series in Boston with a 5-2 win over the Red Sox.
The rubber game will find ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball crew on hand to broadcast the first pitch scheduled for a few minutes past 8 PM (ET). Jon Lester was supposed to deliver that initial toss, but Boston decided to give him some extra rest and will instead send Ryan Dempster to the hill. CC Sabathia is up next for the Yankees who are small 'dogs on the MLB oddsboard with Boston tagged -135 chalk or thereabouts.
A 9 run total shaded to the UNDER is also on the baseball betting menu for Game 3.
Mariano Rivera's 639th career save completed New York's Game 2 triumph, with Eduardo Nuñez and Luis Cruz the offensive stars in the affair. The Yankees built a 4-0 lead behind Hiroki Kuroda who was brilliant for a third consecutive start.
Sabathia lost his last two starts before the break, pitching well in one and poorly in the other when his defense let him down. He's carrying an ERA this year about half a run higher than his career mark despite his WHIP right in line with the past, and one reason that his ERA is up is Sabathia is just one long ball away from tying the 22 homers allowed in 2012, the most he's surrendered in a single season.
The big lefty faced the Red Sox twice before this year, both starts taking place at home. Boston beat him Opening Day when Sabathia allowed four runs and four walks in five frames, but he rebounded for his backer's MLB picks with a solid outing at the end of May (7.1 IP, 1 ER, 10 K).
Dempster bounced back from a bad May with a nice month of June during which the Red Sox won four of his six starts and the Canadian posted a 3.55 ERA. July hasn't gotten off to a good start for the righthander with 10 runs (6 earned) charged to his ledger in two road starts covering just 9.2 innings. He's never beaten the Yankees in five career starts, losing four of them himself and pitching to a 7.22 ERA.
Everything looks fine as far as the weather goes in Beantown. The low-70s is where most of the game is played on the thermometer and there's very little chance of rain with a light breeze from the east (in from right). Paul Emmel is the scheduled plate ump with a 7-10-3 O/U/P mark on the season after his last three assignments went OVER the total.
The first two games have been pretty quiet on the scoreboard, but I've seen too many Sunday night ESPN affairs between these two clubs belong to the lineups not to play the OVER.