The Yankees blew leads in the ninth and tenth innings and served up four wild pitches in the final inning as the Boston Red Sox earned an improbable win in the opening game of a four-game series between the two rivals in Boston. New York will look to even things up and regain the momentum of last weekend’s win over the Sox in the Bronx.
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Friday, July 23, 2021 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park
The New York Yankees appeared to have all the post-All Star Break momentum, winning four straight games heading into a four-game showdown with the first-place Red Sox in Boston. The Yankees’ hot streak included two wins over Boston in a three-game set last weekend in New York. The Bronx Bombers hoped to continue to put pressure on the Sox and cut into the lead this weekend.
For eight-plus innings, momentum continued, then the roof fell in on the Yankees. New York blew a two-run lead in the ninth and a one-run lead in the tenth to lose on a walk-off sacrifice fly. The second Boston comeback was spurred by an incredible four wild pitches by New York relievers in the tenth inning.
The Yankees opened last weekend’s series against the Sox with a similarly disappointing loss, then rebounded to start their winning streak. They’ll need to bounce back again on Friday in the second game of the series in Boston. Take it into consideration for your MLB picks.
B Team Power
The Yankees’ winning streak coincided with six players, including Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela, going to the COVID list. In their place, a group of no-name replacements has starred. Greg Allen hit over .400 in his first four games, and Estevan Florial had an OPS over 1.200. Rougned Odor and Ryan LaMarre also came up with big hits for the Yankees.
According to top sportsbooks, the pitching also improved, and slumping starters like Gleyber Torres began to find their stroke. A bullpen that blew three saves in 3.1 innings brought all that momentum to a crashing halt on Thursday, however.
Things looked bleak a week ago, when the Yankees’ A-teamers tested positive and New York was shut out by the Red Sox in the first game of the second half. Gerrit Cole was able to right the ship, however, striking out 11 in a rain-shortened win that sent the Yankees on their winning streak.
He’ll have to do it again, as he gets the ball on Friday. He’ll be pitching to catcher Gary Sanchez for just the third time this season. His personal catcher, Kyle Higashioka, is one of the COVID sidelined Yankees. Sanchez caught him in last week’s win over Boston—the first time the duo has paired up since opening day.
“I've felt good about Gary and Gerrit working together,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I thought they were really good in their last outing together".
Thursday’s comeback gave Boston three straight wins, all over American League East rivals, as they look to hold off the hard-charging Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox scored a total of 20 runs, including 11 home runs, in two wins over Toronto, then nearly matched their total for last weekend’s three games in the 5-4 win over the Yankees on Thursday.
Injuries forced the Sox to make a roster move before the start of the series. Danny Santana injured his groin diving for a ball on Wednesday and went to the injured list. Franchy Cordero was called up from Triple-A to replace him.
Cordero struggled earlier in the year, hitting below .180 in nearly 100 at-bats. He made the most of his demotion, learning a new position—first base, to go with his outfield experience—and producing an OPS over .950 in the minors. Be on the look for your MLB odds.
The Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound on Friday. He’s 7-5, 5.19. He beat the Yankees last Friday, allowing two hits in 5.2 shutout innings.
The Yankees admitted that they suffered a “gut punch” in the opening game, but nothing helps a team regain its breath like sending its ace to the mound. Cole gives the Yankees a big edge in the pitching matchup at nearly even money.
*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.