Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds, Predictions, Preview: Betting Value On Thursday’s Underdog

Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds, Predictions, Preview: Betting Value On Thursday’s Underdog article feature image
Credit:

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Rafael Devers.

  • The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will open the second half of the MLB season with the greatest rivalry in baseball.
  • Both offenses caught fire before the All-Star Break and have relatively advantageous pitching matchups on Thursday.
  • Check out BJ Cunningham's full betting preview below, complete with updated odds, picks and predictions.

Editor’s Note: Tonight’s game between the Yankees and Red Sox has been postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Yankees’ organization.

Red Sox vs. Yankees Odds

Red Sox Odds +105
Yankees Odds -125
Over/Under 9.5
Time 7:08 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds as of Thursday morning and via DraftKings.

The greatest rivalry in baseball opens up the second half of the season as the Red Sox take on the Yankees.

The Red Sox had an unexpected first half of the season and lead the AL East by 1.5 games over the second-place Rays.

Boston’s offense and bullpen have been two of the best units in all of baseball and have carried it to this point. The Sox also swept their heated rivals twice already, so another sweep could effectively end their rival’s chance at winning the AL East.

The Yankees are in panic mode heading into the second half of the season after going 46-43 in the first half.

They currently sit eight games back in the division and 4.5 games back in the Wild Card. They need an incredible second half of the season to make the playoffs and give them a chance at their first World Series title in over a decade.

Offensive Matchup

Red Sox Offense Has Great Matchup

The Red Sox offense has been one of the best in baseball this season, as they rank inside the top 10 in both wOBA and wRC+. They’ve been especially good against left-handed pitching, putting up a .328 wOBA and 104 wRC+.

The Red Sox’s 3-5 spots in the order are about as scary as it gets for an opposing pitcher. Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez and Rafael Devers have combined for 65 HRs, 185 RBIs, and all own a wOBA over .360.

They’ll have a fantastic matchup against Jordan Montgomery, who utilizes his changeup and curveball over 47% of the time. Boston just happens to be top-three against both pitches, with a combined +31.7 run value.

Yankees Starting to Heat Up

After a slow start to the season, the Yankees offense has come alive over the past month, putting up a .323 wOBA and 106 wRC+.

They’ll have a decent matchup against Eduardo Rodriguez as well because they rank sixth in terms of wOBA and have hit the fourth-most home runs against lefties.

However, as far as a pitch mix is concerned, this isn’t the best of matchups for them. The Yankees rank in the bottom half of baseball against fastballs, changeups, and cutters, which happen to be Rodriguez’s three main pitches.

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Starting Pitching Matchup

Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Jordan Montgomery

2021 Stats (via FanGraphs)

Red Sox Starting Pitcher

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

If you take a glance at Rodriguez’s numbers, you’d think he’s having a horrible season. He has a 5.52 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and opponents are hitting .282 against him.

However, Rodriguez is due for some major positive regression, because his xERA and xFIP are below 3.60. Some of that positive regression came against the Yankees on June 27 when he held the Bronx Bombers to five hits and two runs while striking out eight batters in six innings of work.

Rodriguez’s three main pitches of fastball, curveball, and cutter have been really effective despite not always getting the result they should. All three allow an xwOBA under .305. Again, as I mentioned above, the Yankees are in the bottom half of Major League Baseball against Rodriguez’s three main pitches.

Yankees Starting Pitcher

Jordan Montgomery, LHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Jordan Montgomery has been solid this season, posting a 4.08 xERA and 3.98 xFIP.

His top two pitches of changeup and curveball have been really effective, allowing a wOBA under .270 and a whiff rate over 37%. However, as I previously mentioned, the Red Sox absolutely crush those two pitches, so he will have to the on point with his location.

Over his career, Montgomery’s had issues keeping the ball inside the yard, but this season, he’s made great improvements. His HR/9 is down to 1.09, and he’s allowed only 10.1 expected home runs in 14 starts after his HR/9 rate sat at 1.44 last season.

Still, the Red Sox hit him pretty good a few weeks ago, tallying eight hits and three runs in only six innings.

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Bullpen/Defensive Matchup

The later innings will be a matchup between two of the best bullpens in the American League. The Yankees’ pen has been rock solid all season, putting up a 3.58 ERA and 3.81 xFIP while ranking top-10 in BB/9, HR/9, and LOB%.

The Red Sox bullpen has drastically improved from last season, and the emergence of Matt Barnes as a lockdown closer has helped drastically.

This season, Barnes has posted a 1.81 xERA, 2.12 xFIP, and a 14.92 K/9 rate, which are all top-five in MLB.

The Red Sox bullpen itself is also top-10 in both ERA and xFIP, so the relief matchup is basically a wash.

Red Sox-Yankees Pick

I think the Red Sox offense has a fantastic matchup against Jordan Montgomery. He’ll be forced to utilize his fastball and sinker more often, as the Red Sox are one of the best teams in baseball against changeups and curveballs.

So, I am going to back the Red Sox moneyline at +110 and would play anything down to +105.

Pick: Red Sox ML +110 (Play to +105)

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