After plenty of drama down the stretch of the regular season, the Yankees and Red Sox will renew postseason hostilities in a win-or-go-home Wild Card game to start the American League playoffs. Boston and New York finished with identical records, and both needed to pull out games on the last day of the season to make it to the showdown. For your MLB pick, read my prediction below!
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Tuesday, October 05, 2021 - 08:08 PM EDT at Fenway Park
After plenty of drama down the stretch of the regular season, the Yankees and Red Sox will renew postseason hostilities in a win-or-go-home Wild Card game to start the American League playoffs.
The Yankees seemed to wrap up a postseason berth by winning seven straight and eight of nine, including a sweep of Boston to take over the top Wild Card spot last week. New York lost two straight to Tampa in the final series, however, it needs a win to avoid a multi-team play-in to reach the Wild Card. A ninth-inning walk-off single broke a scoreless tie and sent the Yankees to the playoffs.
Boston followed the three losses to the Yankees with a shocking series loss to the last-place Orioles, rendering their postseason hopes all but gone. Instead, the Sox rebounded with a weekend sweep of Washington, including wiping out a 5-1 deficit in the final game to also avoid the play-in.
The Yankees’ late-season run was sparked by their two-star sluggers in the lineup—Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who went on an epic power streak during the winning streak. The lineup went cold against the Rays’ outstanding pitching staff this weekend, however. After averaging 6.4 runs a game in the previous eight, the Yankees managed a total of six runs in their last three games.
The Yankees have won two of the three previous double-elimination games against the Red Sox, winning on Bucky Dent’s dramatic home run in the 1978 play-in game and on Aaron Boone’s walk-off homer in the 2003 ALCS Game Seven. Boston won the following year, in 2004’s ALCS Game Seven.
New York got a scare in Sunday’s game when Gio Urshela fell into the dugout trying to catch a foul ball. He said he’s planning to play on Tuesday, though
“I felt a lot of pain in that moment; I didn’t even know what was happening,” Urshela said. “But thank God I feel really good. It could be worse.”
The Yankees will start Gerrit Cole in the Wild Card game. Cole went 16-8 with a 3.23 ERA in the regular season. He’s given up 15 earned runs in 17.2 innings over his last three starts.
Ready to Host the Showdown
The Red Sox gets to host the Wild Card game after winning 10 of the 19 games against the Yankees this season.
While the Red Sox made it into the postseason, thanks to a big game from Rafael Devers as Boston came back to win the regular-season finale, they had some bad luck as they pushed to a playoff berth.
Boston had to use ace Chris Sale on Sunday, meaning he won’t be able to start on Tuesday. He only lasted into the third inning, however, so he might be able to step in for an inning or two in relief if needed. The Red Sox also saw J.D. Martinez go down with a sprained left ankle in the sixth inning.
Boston will start Nathan Eovaldi against the Yankees. He’s 11-9, 3.75 on the season, and pitched 6 shutout innings against the Orioles in his last start.
As we’ve seen over the years, when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees meet, drama is sure to follow. Boston’s run to the playoffs is a good representation of its season. The Red Sox beat up on the last-place Nationals to earn a spot. Boston was 46-22 against losing teams this season while posting a sub-.500 record against winning teams.
Trust the MLB odds and look for the Yankees to regain their hitting stroke with a return to Fenway and advance to the Division Series.
MLB Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.