AL Wild Card Game Odds & Picks for Yankees vs. Red Sox: 3 Best Bets for Tuesday’s Matchup (October 5)
Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Gerrit Cole
Yankees vs. Red Sox AL Wild Card Game Odds
|Red Sox Odds||+108|
|Over/Under||8 (-106 / -114)|
|Time||8:08 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The American League Wild Card Game is tonight at 8:08 p.m. ET on ESPN and features the most historic rivalry in MLB history.
The Yankees and Red Sox meet at Fenway Park in a winner-take-all matchup where the winner will advance to the American League Division Series to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The matchup features a sterling pitching duel of Gerrit Cole vs. Nathan Eovaldi.
Here are our analysts’ three best bets for tonight’s AL Wild Card Game.
MLB Odds & Picks
Yankees Moneyline -120
DJ James: The Red Sox may have the advantage in Fenway Park, but the Yankees throw Gerrit Cole against Nathan Eovaldi.
Eovaldi has decent numbers, but Gerrit Cole’s ability to strike people out should give him an easy advantage between the starting pitchers here.
Eovaldi features his fastball 42.3% of the time. On fastballs from righties since August 1, the Yankees have a .362 xwOBA and 92.1 mph average exit velocity. They should be able to knock Eovaldi out of the game early and handle the very mediocre Boston bullpen in the later innings.
However, the one hang-up may be if Cole struggles, much like he did in two of six starts in September. That said, since he can strike out 33.5% of hitters, he should be able to get himself out of jams.
With Cole on the mound, the advantage lies with the Yankees. Take the Yankees at -120, even with them on the road, and play this to -135. The Bronx Bombers should provide Cole plenty of support early in this matchup.
Over 8 (-106)
Kenny Ducey: Can Gerrit Cole find it again after looking like a completely different pitcher since his injury? Can Nathan Eovaldi shake off a seven-run disaster at Fenway against these same Yankees just a week and a half ago? I don’t think the answer to either question is yes, and because of that I’m taking the over.
Let’s have some perspective here. For starters, both of these teams were top 10 in wRC+ over the second half of the season, and while the Yankees looked mightily imposing at the plate in Boston at the end of the season, the Red Sox ended the year on an absolute tear offensively. Even with J.D. Martinez out, Boston can still rake, and the same goes for the Yankees in the wake of the DJ LeMahieu injury, especially considering he was a disappointment in 2021.
In the last two weeks, this Red Sox bullpen has been awful, pitching to a 4.66 ERA and a 5.02 xFIP. The Yankees have had the best unit in baseball with a 1.84 ERA, but it may not really matter if Cole runs into trouble in the first few frames. We’re talking about a guy who has allowed 15 earned runs in his last three starts and who looks nothing like himself. It could be a long night for the Yankees’ ace, who has been dealing with left hamstring tightness.
I also like a play here on the Yankees given their beastly bullpen, but with the way the Red Sox have hit lately we could be in store for some fireworks.
Over 8 (-106)
Collin Whitchurch: There’s a script here that makes all the sense in the world and would be entirely fitting for a game with such high stakes in a rivalry this rooted in dramatics.
Gerrit Cole vs. Nathan Eovaldi is obviously a high-profile pitching matchup, and I don’t see much reason to believe these guys won’t live up to the billing. However, there have been plenty of blips on each resume over the last two months.
Cole has been pretty up-and-down throughout the second half, while Eovaldi got roughed up by the New York offense in their most recent meeting. Neither guy is infallible, and while this game will likely be tight late, it won’t be entirely low-scoring.
That’s when the bullpens come into play. New York has one of the best bullpens in baseball, but I’m not entirely confident in Aaron Boone’s ability to pull all the right strings at the right times, and the Boston offense will take advantage of any strategic misstep the Yankees’ skipper makes in the crucial, late innings.
Alex Cora is a solid tactician, but his bullpen has been a mess. The Yankees’ offense is among the best in baseball, and there’s no road map here to where they shouldn’t have every opportunity to feast against whoever Cora puts out there after Eovaldi.
It’s not going to happen until late, but over 8 is the smart play here given the offenses against these respective bullpens.
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