Pitchers dominated the Red Sox and Yankees lineups Wednesday to even their series, and it's New York priced as the solid favorite on the MLB odds in Thursday's series finale.
Steven Wright's knuckleball and Luis Severino's heater were both impressive on Wednesday evening in New York, and in the end, it was a home run by Boston's David Ortiz that proved the difference as the Red Sox grabbed a 2-1 win to even their series with the Yankees.
A third game now decides the set, Thursday's broadcast by the MLB Network beginning at 7 PM (ET). For the third consecutive evening, a rookie is part of the initial mound duel as Eduardo Rodriguez makes his Yankee Stadium debut for the Red Sox opposite New York's CC Sabathia. The morning nickel line at 5Dimes has the Yanks at -140, the MLB betting board once again including a 9 run total.
Boston 4-1 Behind Rodriguez In July
Rodriguez is coming off a pretty fair month of July, his 5.04 ERA in five starts primarily due to one rough outing in Anaheim. Boston won the other four outings, though, the rookie pitching to a 2.70 ERA in those games. The Red Sox have split his six assignments vs. AL East teams, and gone 8-4 with the Venezuelan on the mound overall (+3.7 units).
One of the victories against division foes came against the Yankees in Boston a little less than a month ago. Rodriguez worked into the seventh allowing two runs, both solo shots by Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury, and will get his first taste of baseball at Yankee Stadium in this clash.
New York is 9-11 in Sabathia's 20 starts, a record that has cost baseball bettors nearly five units. One setback was last Thursday in Texas where the veteran served up three long balls and five runs in five innings, forced from the game eventually due to dehydration. Giving up homers has been an issue for ol' Crooked Cap this year, two dozen of his pitches landing in the bleachers in his 117 innings of work. He beat Boston at Fenway Park on May 1, his only matchup with the Red Sox in 2015, splitting his two decisions against them a year ago.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Working the plate in the third and final game of this set should be Rob Drake who has been making friends with 'under' bettors since early-April. Now in his 16th season at the major league level, Drake stands 6-13-1 O/U/P on the season and brings a run of four consecutive 'under' winners into Thursday's tilt. The Keystone State native has not made a lot of friends among Yankees fans, however, New York losing four of his last five plate assignments in the Bronx, one of those a 2012 ALCS matchup, the totals running 3-2 O/U on the MLB odds.
It's going to be cloudy and a humid 80º when the game begins, but neither rain nor wind will hinder the contest. It's just difficult to get behind Sabathia these days, and that's why my free MLB pick is on Boston.
My pick: Red Sox +135 at 5Dimes