Yankees vs. Red Sox MLB Picks: Betting on Baseball's Biggest Rivalry

Willie Bee

Monday, August 31, 2015 12:38 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 12:38 PM UTC

Baseball's biggest rivalry is part of the MLB betting card for the first half of Week 21, and the series opener between the Yankees and Red Sox is close to a pick 'em


It has not been an enjoyable season for the Boston Red Sox. One injury after another has depleted John Farrell's lineup, starting rotation and bullpen, plus several high-dollar offseason acquisitions have failed to live up to their expectations.

Boston can still salvage something positive from the experience, and give its fans something to cheer about, if the Red Sox can at least play a part in keeping the rival New York Yankees from winning their 19th AL East crown. The Red Sox have seven games remaining against the Evil Empire, the first coming Monday evening when ESPN will have its cameras trained on the 7:10 PM (ET) first pitch at historic Fenway Park.

The 3-game set opens with a mound duel between New York's Ivan Nova and Boston rookie Eduardo Rodriguez, and a quick check of SBR's live baseball odds reveals some tight moneylines with the Red Sox generally listed around -115. Each sports book is checking in with a 9 run total, 5Dimes charging -120 for 'over' bettors.

Fenway has not provided the expected huge advantage for the Beantown Nine in recent years, the Yankees winning 48 of the last 87 played on this diamond. New York owns an 8-4 advantage overall this season, and has taken five of the six contests played so far in Boston. 'Under' bettors have doubled up 'over' bettors in those six games, cashing four times, though the entire 2015 MLB betting totals have split 6-6.


Bombers See Bats Wake Up Over Weekend In Atlanta
After struggling on offense during the first four weeks of August, New York (72-57, +3.4 units) bats suddenly came alive over the weekend in Atlanta during a 3-game sweep of the Braves. The Yankees plated 38 runs in the series, 20 of them coming in an explosion on Sunday when a couple of former Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew, led a 21 hit attack with seven RBI between them. Prior to heading out on the road, the Yanks wrapped up a long homestand by scoring just four times in a 3-game set against the Houston Astros.

Even Alex Rodriguez got into the act on Sunday, coming through with a 2-run pinch hit single during a 7-run seventh inning. Rodriguez had gone hitless during the series with the Astros and is batting just a buck-48 in August, a month in which the Yankees saw their division lead vanish to begin this series 1½ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

The way Nova has been pitching of late, New York may need to keep that offense going in order to win tonight. The Dominican suffered through control issues last Tuesday against Houston, walking four and surrendering seven runs in just only four innings of a 15-1 Astros victory. Nova fell to the Red Sox in Boston the only time he's seen them this year, a 5-3 setback just before the All-Star Game, leaving him 2-2 the last four trips to the Fenway mound with a 4.36 ERA.


Rodriguez, Nova Facing Off For 2nd Time
As bad as the season has been for Boston (60-70, -13.6 units), the Red Sox have been playing a little better lately. They just finished up a 4-2 road trip that garnered a pair of series victories in Chicago against the White Sox and New York vs. the Mets, giving the Sox eight dubyas in their last 12 games.

Called up in late-May, Rodriguez is already getting his third look at the Yankees -- and second matchup with Nova -- in what will be just his 17th big league game. He lost a tough one in New York earlier this month, a 2-1 Red Sox loss that saw the young lefty toss seven innings while allowing only two runs, but beat Nova and the Yankees at home in July with a very similar linescore.

Weather isn't expected to be any trouble for the entire series, Monday's forecast calling for the mid-80s with a 10-12 mph westerly wind (out to right). I'm liking the young southpaw and Boston for my free MLB pick in the lid-lifter for this set.


My pick: Red Sox -115 @ 5Dimes
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