Red Sox vs. Yankees Odds & Pick (Friday, Aug. 14): Back Boston to Keep it Close Against Gerrit Cole

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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox

  • Check out our MLB betting preview for Friday's rivalry game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
  • New York starting pitcher Gerrit Cole has been somewhat shaky so far, but he is still one of the best pitchers in baseball.
  • Read on to find out why BJ Cunningham is backing Boston's +2.5 spread against the Yankees All-Star.

Red Sox vs. Yankees Odds

Red Sox Odds +275 [BET NOW]
Yankees Odds -334 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 9 (-110/-110) [BET NOW]
First Pitch 7:05 p.m. ET 
TV NESN/YES

Odds as of Friday at 12:40 p.m. ET and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The rivalry gets renewed tonight, but this one doesn’t have as much intrigue as in years past. The Yankees are a game ahead of the Rays for first place in the AL East, while the Red Sox are in dead last and seven games below .500.

The Yankees will send their all-world ace Gerrit Cole to the mound, while the Red Sox are going with a bullpen game. We’ll see if the Red Sox can be competitive after a horrific showing earlier this week against the Rays.


Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual player per game is 0.46 BaseRuns.


Red Sox

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

Boston’s offense has been pretty average to begin the season with a .315 wOBA and 98 wRC+. Other than Xander Bogaerts, the heart of the order hasn’t gotten going yet as J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers both have wOBAs below .300 to start the year.

Those two will need to pick up their level of play if the Red Sox offense is going to carry them to some sort of relevancy because their starting pitching certainly isn’t going to help.

Red Sox Projected Starter

Colten Brewer, RHP

The Red Sox are going with a bullpen game tonight. Colten Brewer will start the game and go only about two innings, so there is no need to do a full breakdown of his stuff.

Yankees

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

The Yankees have been mashing the ball through their first 16 games, as they lead MLB with a .350 wOBA and 124 wRC+. They’ve been crushing home runs left and right, with 31 already on the season. Aaron Judge has led the Bronx Bombers with nine home runs and .450 wOBA to begin the season. They’ll be ready to feast on a Red Sox bullpen that surrendered 12 hits and 10 runs to the Rays yesterday.

Yankees Projected Starter

Gerrit Cole, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Cole has been fine through his first four starts as a Yankee, but there are a couple areas in his arsenal of pitches that fans should keep an eye on.

He’s gone to his fastball more often in his first three starts (58.7%) than he did last season (51.6%). His whiff rate on that fastball has also gone down from 37.6% in 2019 to 23.1% this season. Cole’s slider also hasn’t been as effective, allowing a .349 wOBA on 69 pitches. Context is key here because it is a small sample size, but it’s something to look out for going froward.

His paltry 2020 metrics notwithstanding, Cole is still one of the best pitchers in baseball due to his elite combination of velocity and control. He averages 96.6 mph on his fastball and can top out at over 100. In fact, his fastball rated out as the best in baseball last season.

The Red Sox rank in the top half of MLB so far this season against fastballs and curveballs, so look for Cole to utilize some of his other secondary pitches more often on Friday night.

Bullpens

The Red Sox bullpen hasn’t been great to this point in the season, but it’s not all bad news. It has a collective xFIP of 4.08, which is top 10 in MLB so far this year.

The Yankees bullpen has been as good as projected, with a 4.06 xFIP so far this season. The Yankees have the more talented bullpen, so they’ll have the advantage during this series.

Projections and Pick

The Red Sox bullpen is not as bad as it showed versus the Rays earlier in the week. Cole has been a tad shaky to begin the season, so this game is isn’t a guaranteed Yankee victory. All of the Red Sox’s best bullpen guys should be available for this game as well, so I think the Sox will be able to keep it close.

I am going to back Boston’s spread of +2.5 at -106 odds, but I would bet it up to only -108.

Pick: Red Sox +2.5 (-106) [Bet now at BetMGM. CO, NJ, IN and WV only.]

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