The New York Yankees are a win away from sweeping the Boston Red Sox in their weekend MLB odds series that gets the Sunday Night Baseball treatment from ESPN.
Sunday's Series Closer
By: Willie Bee
There's trouble brewing in the New York Yankees' front office. Meanwhile down on the field, the team is clicking along quite nicely with nine wins in the last 11 games and a 2-game lead atop the AL East. In other words, business as usual in the Bronx.
The Yankees can complete a sweep of the rival Red Sox tonight in Boston where ESPN's cameras will be on hand for the 8 PM (ET) matchup. The mound duel begins with Adam Warren hurling for the visitors while Joe Kelly takes his turn in the Boston rotation. Opening MLB odds had the Red Sox at -140, that moneyline now down to -130 or a few pennies lower with the 'under' taxed heavier on a 9 run total.
Kelly Aims For 4th Win Over Yankees
On a New York staff that includes several bigger names, it is Warren who has provided baseball bettors with the best return in 2015; the Yankees have won three of Warren's four outings, good enough for about $2.75 of profit for anyone playing the baseball odds. Warren has needed help from his offense in a couple of those games, and bullpen assistance in all four with the former Tar Heel yet to make it through a full six innings.
The only Warren start that New York lost came against these Red Sox a little less than a month ago, though it was a decent effort by the righthander (5.1 IP, 1 ER). That was his first career start vs. Boston following 17 relief appearances, Warren's career ERA in this rivalry now at 4.28 (32.2 IP).
The Red Sox are also 3-1 behind Kelly, though for a little less profit on the MLB betting board. A 3rd-round pick by the Cardinals in 2009, Kelly hasn't been sharp the last two times out with five runs allowed in each game to drive his ERA up to nearly 5.00 on the year. Kelly only figured into one of the four decisions, and it was against the Yankees in the same contest Warren suffered the loss. It was his third career assignment vs. New York -- first in a Boston jersey -- and all three have been winners.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Crew chief Jeff Nelson will work the dish tonight, his 2015 stats split three ways as far as the totals go (2-2-2 O/U/P). The only real trend in Nelson's games so far has been home chalk winning four out of six games, including both times the moneyline was in the -120 to -140 range.
Weather should not be an issue with a first-pitch temp in the low-60s, mostly clear skies and a light breeze from the south (out to left). The pitchers have surprised us in this series so far with a pair of 'under' winners, but I'm going the contrarian route this evening with a free MLB pick on the high side (O9 +110) of the total.
Saturday's Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Alex Rodriguez hasn't had too many pinch-hitting appearances in his career, and never hit a home run in that situation before Friday evening. The controversial slugger's first pinch hit long fly turned out to be a historic one, and helped the New York Yankees to a 3-2 triumph in their opener in Boston against the Red Sox.
The win kept the Yankees on top in the AL East as the two clubs prepare for Saturday's matinee and Fenway Park. The 1:35 PM (ET) start features a pair of hurlers in the first seasons with their new clubs, New York's Nathan Eovaldi and Wade Miley of Boston.
SBR's live MLB odds currently show a -115 moneyline on the Red Sox at GT Bets. Playing the scoreboard will require making a decision on a 9½ run total that carries a little more juice for 'under' wagers.
Miley Hopes To Make Up For Poor Performance In Fenway Debut
Eovaldi and Miley each got their first tastes of this rivalry during the earlier series in the Bronx. Neither figured into the decision while both pitching one out into the sixth, Eovaldi allowing three runs while Miley gave up two in an eventual 6-5 Boston win that took 19 innings and closed right at a pick 'em on the MLB betting card.
That was the first start of the season for each hurler, and first time Eovaldi had ever faced the Red Sox. The Yankees have since gone on to win two of his three subsequent starts, including a 6-4 triumph over the Mets last weekend when the Houston native failed to even make it through the fifth. Boston 3B Pablo Sandoval has made Eovaldi his bitch over the years, collecting 10 hits and 10 RBI in 14 at bats.
It was the second time Miley had seen the Yankees, the other coming in 2013 while a member of the Diamondbacks staff. The lefty had enough to get a quality start in that matchup (6.2 IP, 3 ER), but once again no-decisioned in a 4-3 New York victory. Miley made his Fenway debut on April 15, and it was a disastrous outing with seven Nationals crossing the plate before he left in the third inning, Washington taking a 10-5 dubya in the end.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Cory Blaser, the youngest and least experienced member of chief Jeff Nelson's umpire crew, is expected to call balls and strikes in Game 2. The Denver native is 2-3 O/U, home chalk also 2-3 in those affairs. Blaser was 11-16-4 O/U/P a year ago, the totals splitting high and low in his two plate assignments at Fenway Park.
The thermometer may not make it out of the 50s today in Boston, but plenty of sunshine is in store with a light easterly breeze (in from right). There was less offense than I expected with my free MLB pick on Friday, but the Yankees (+100) should have enough to make it two in a row over Boston today.
Friday's Game 1
By: Willie Bee
One month of the 2015 MLB betting schedule down, five to go. A few teams are exceeding expectations, like the Astros and Mets having the biggest leads in any of the divisions. A few players have so far not lived up to expectations, like last year's AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber still winless in five starts for the Indians and Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy -- a career .282 hitter -- batting below a buck-forty.
Some things are exactly like they always seem to be, though, such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox a game apart at the top of the AL East heading into May. The old foes get it going with a 7:10 PM (ET) clash at Fenway, CC Sabathia and Justin Masterson squaring off on the mound. Boston is currently showing up at -120 on the MLB odds at Wagerweb, the take-back on the Yankees +110. An 8½ run total is also on the same board, with a few shops still going with an even 9.
It's the second time the clubs have met in 2015, the Red Sox winning two of three in New York in early April. The lineups combined for 41 runs in that series, sending all three games above the totals and extending the streak of 'over' winners to five in this rivalry.
Taking the earlier series this season gave Boston a slight 48-47 advantage vs. New York since the start of the 2010 campaign, but it's the Yankees who have fared better at Fenway with a 25-20 mark in that span, winning all three series in Beantown a year ago. 'Over' bettors had the same 6-3 record as New York did in those Boston matchups, and have cashed nine of the last 13 times the teams got together on this field.
Yanks Still Winless Behind Sabathia
Neither Sabathia nor Masterson pitched in the April 10-12 get-together in the Bronx, and the two veteran hurlers have produced nearly exact opposite results so far despite having some similar numbers to date.
New York has yet to win a game with ol' Crooked Cap on the hill, Sabathia coming off the worst of the four outings last weekend against the Mets. The big southpaw served up three home runs in his five innings of work, allowing nine hits and seven runs overall as his ERA skyrocketed to 5.96 on the young season. That's right at his ERA against Boston the last three seasons (5.98), and it's over 8.00 when Sabathia pitches at Fenway Park though the Yankees have split those four games somehow.
Boston somehow won Masterson's first three starts despite the former San Diego State star sporting a 5.74 ERA in those games. He pitched well enough last Saturday in Baltimore (7 IP, 3 ER), but it wasn't good enough for a Red Sox victory in a 5-4 extra-inning loss. Masterson is 4-5 lifetime vs. the Yankees with a 3.94 ERA, stats that include four relief appearances against New York during his 2008 rookie season. Fenway Park has given him trouble recently, the 6'-6" righthander owning a 9.12 ERA in his last five starts on this mound.
Quality Starts Few & Far Between For Yanks, Sox
There's a huge discrepancy in the staff ERAs for both team, Boston hurlers dead last in the majors through the first month at 5.04 and New York sitting fifth overall at 3.23. Look inside those numbers, however, and you'll see that both rotations have struggled with just 15 quality starts between them, or one less than the Padres who lead the majors. General managers in Philadelphia and Milwaukee are eagerly awaiting calls from both the Red Sox and Yankees.
It might be a little chilly at Friday night's game, but the weather otherwise looks very nice for the entire weekend. Clear skies and 47º is the forecast for first pitch in Game 1, an east breeze in the 5-8 mph range (in from right).
MLB Pick: The two starting pitchers make it very easy for me to like the 'over' for my free MLB picks in Game 1.