Zylbert: Rick Porcello’s History At Yankee Stadium Can’t Be Ignored

Zylbert: Rick Porcello’s History At Yankee Stadium Can’t Be Ignored article feature image

Bob DeChiara, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Rick Porcello

Betting odds: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees 

  • First Pitch: 8:07 p.m. ET (TBS)
  • Over/Under: 9
  • Probable Pitchers: Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.28 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (9-7, 3.65 ERA)

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record
Regular Season: 102-73-4, +21.35 units
Postseason: 3-3-1, -0.6 units
Yesterday’s Result: Dodgers-Braves Under 8, Hill vs. Foltynewicz (Push)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

The Yankees are in a do-or-die spot on Tuesday night when they host the Red Sox for Game 4 of the ALDS — one night after Boston trounced the Bombers, 16-1, in the Bronx.

Looking at the starting pitcher matchup, don’t be surprised to see a heavy dosage of offense continue to pour in Game 4.

Porcello will be on the hill to start for Boston in effort to close out this series, but his presence actually could be beneficial for over bettors.

Though the 2016 American League Cy Young award winner won 17 games this season and registered a personal career best in strikeouts (190), it also came at the expense of registering his most walks per nine innings (2.26) since 2011.

That’s one red flag right there for Porcello, as the Yankees easily led the American League in walks this year.

Porcello can also be prone to the long ball, which is as important as anything when facing the club that literally just set the record for most home runs (267) in a single season.

But maybe above all, let’s consider Porcello’s odd recent history against the Bronx Bombers. Since his first season with Boston in 2015, the former Detroit Tiger has made 13 starts against the Yankees.

Nine of those were home outings at Fenway Park, and in all of them, he gave up two runs or fewer, collectively notching an outstanding 1.06 ERA and 9.20 K/9 over 59.2 innings.

At Yankee Stadium, however, Porcello has mostly come apart. In his four starts there in a Red Sox uniform, he’s put up a 5.74 ERA while registering only 7.09 K/9.

It’s a smaller sample size of 26.2 innings but still pretty telling, and his career ERA at Yankee Stadium isn’t much better (5.56). In fact, that’s the highest ERA Porcello holds in any stadium in which he’s pitched more than three times.

Additionally, it’s also hard to imagine Porcello getting comfortable out there. After all, he hasn’t really started a game since Sept. 22 (he pitched two innings as the starter on the final day of the season, but that was more of a warmup than an actual start).

Essentially, that’s more than two weeks without starting a game, and you know how much pitchers are creatures of habit. As a result, this can potentially affect him as well.

Porcello’s counterpart tonight, Sabathia, might be just as susceptible to the lineup he’s about to face. I mean, while New York cranked out the most four-baggers, it was the Red Sox who led all of baseball in runs scored (876), batting average (.268), OPS (.792) and extra-base hits (594).

That doesn’t seem to prognosticate an encouraging outing for the 18-year veteran who perennially yields a relative high number of baserunners. For example, he finished with a very unspectacular 1.31 WHIP in 2018.

Sabathia also didn’t find much success against his team’s eternal rival this year, producing a 4.50 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in three meetings. Boston was also the only team to hit .300 off Sabathia among teams that faced him more than once.

Just in general, this older version of Sabathia is simply off from his peak years. He’s not as consistent, especially when doing his bidding in the Boogie Down Bronx. In four of the last five seasons, Sabathia has produced an ERA that is a full run higher at home than it is on the road.

Get this over bet in quickly, as the line has no chance of going down.

Play: OVER 9 (-115)

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.