Sunday Night Baseball Betting Preview: Yankees Go For Sweep Over Red Sox

Sunday Night Baseball Betting Preview: Yankees Go For Sweep Over Red Sox article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured:

  • Our MLB crew breaks down the Sunday Night Baseball matchup between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
  • See their analysis and best bets for the SNB matchup, featuring CC Sabathia vs. David Price.

SNB Betting Odds: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

  • Red Sox odds: -120
  • Yankees odds: +110
  • Over/Under: 10
  • Probable starters: David Price (2-2, 2.83 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (3-1, 3.48 ERA)
  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET on ESPN

>> All odds as of noon ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets

The New York Yankees will go for the sweep of their rival Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.

A win would give the Yankees a 10.5-game lead over the defending champs in the AL East. Why is that significant? Well, only two teams have come back to win a division after trailing by more than 10 games since 2000:

  • 2006 Twins (trailed by 12.5 games on May 27)
  • 2012 Athletics (trailed by 13 games on June 30)

Let’s take a closer look at Sunday night’s matchup, starting with both starting pitchers. We’ll also cover each bullpen, any potential umpire effect, betting trends then close with our favorite bets.

Scouting the SNB Starters

Price has pitched to a career 15-14 record with a 4.90 ERA and just 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings in more than 250 innings pitched against the Yankees. At the new Yankee Stadium, Price owns an 8-8 record with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP over 21 starts.

His strikeout-to-walk ratio in those road starts (2.22) is well below his career average (3.77) and is easily his worst in any stadium (minimum two starts).

He was blown out in both games there last season, losing 11-1 and 10-1, surrendering 14 total runs and eight home runs over 8.2 innings.

Current Yankees hitters own a .310/.361/.520 triple slash line against Price over 352 at bats. Gary Sanchez is 6-for-15 with five home runs, 11 RBI and four walks against the southpaw.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Gary Sanchez, David Price

Price’s ERA and fielding independent metrics are presently at their best indicators since his 2015 season. After showing a 5% decline in first-pitch strike rate and a 2% decline in swinging strike rate in 2018, those categories have regressed to 2015-2017 levels (67% and 12%) this season.

There’s an easy tweak that tracks with those changes. Price started throwing his cutter 8% more often last season than in 2017. However, he’s reduced the cutter’s usage by 10% in 2019 while increasing his rate of changeups to a career high (28%).

His struggles at Yankee Stadium cannot be overlooked, but Price is also pitching better than he has in a few years.

Sabathia owns a 18-13 record with a 4.14 ERA and 1.331 WHIP in 42 starts (263 IP) against the Red Sox.

Since the beginning of the 2016 season, he’s 6-1 in 10 starts with a 2.97 ERA against Boston. But he has just a 45:24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 57.2 innings, suggesting that he’s been a bit lucky.

The biggest concern with Sabathia is that his average velocity is down a full 3 mph over last season (91.6 mph to 88.5 mph). His strikeout minus walk rate is also down 3.5% from 2018, and his strikeout to walk rate is flat at 2.0.

He’s also allowing more hard contact, up from 28.8% career to 34%, with a barrel rate (8.9%) nearly double his career mark (4.7%).

CC started throwing a cutter in 2016 in order to reinvent himself. After throwing the pitch 31% of the time for two years, he’s increased its usage to more than 40% from 2018-2019.

Sabathia is trying to get quick outs with weak contact, but a 6.27 FIP and 5.50 xFIP suggests that he can’t keep this up forever. — Sean Zerillo

Bullpen Barometer

Well, coming into the season, everybody knew the overwhelming strength of the Yankees was their bullpen. And despite a few injuries, those relievers have certainly lived up those high expectations.

They’ve been in peak form as of late. In fact, the New York pen has thrown 24.1 straight scoreless innings — the longest such streak in MLB this season. Their season ERA stands at 3.47, which ranks third in the Majors.

The Yankees did have a day off on Thursday, but have still used their best relievers in each of the first two games. Adam Ottavino, Aroldis Chapman, Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton all pitched on Friday and Saturday.

At this point in his career, Sabathia is not known for going deep into games, so it’s safe to assume the Yankees will need that pen tonight. For what it’s worth, Chapman has not pitched in three consecutive days this year but he did do it once in 2018.

As you might expect, the Red Sox pen hasn’t been anywhere close to as elite. Their 4.02 ERA is above average, however, ranking ninth in MLB.

And while New York’s bullpen  leads baseball with a 10.5 K/9 rate, Boston doesn’t trail too far behind at 10.3. Only four MLB teams — the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals and Padres — have double-digit rates in that particular category. Stuckey

Betting on Blue

Chris Conroy will call balls and strikes tonight. He comes in with a home trend of 119-111 (51.7% -19.62 units) and an under record of 111-108 (50.7% -4.01 units) averaging 8.8 runs per game per SportsInsights.

Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Conroy, David Price

It’s not significant, but Conroy’s trends slightly favor the visiting Red Sox. With Sabathia and his splits on the mound, look for right-handed Boston hitters to take advantage.

CC has a career xFIP of 4.00 against righties compared to 2.99 against lefties. His career splits suggest fewer strikeouts and more home runs against right handers — and 2019’s limited data suggests nothing different.

Look to target right-handed Red Sox hitters in DFS. That would include Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and a cheap option at first base between Michael Chavis or Sam Travis. Collin Wilson

Getting Trendy

Since signing with the Red Sox before the 2016 regular season, Price is 0-6 on the road against the Yankees, losing by 6.2 runs per game. Since 2005, no Red Sox starter has been less profitable for bettors in Yankee Stadium than Price. 

Price and Sabathia have pitched against each other 10 times prior to Sunday Night Baseball. Price’s teams are 8-2 on the moneyline, profiting bettors 8 units, making Sabathia Price’s most profitable opposing starter.  — Evan Abrams

Favorite Bets

It might be the public side (see live public betting data here), but I like the Yankees and their significantly better bullpen to get the home sweep at plus-money. — Zerillo

I expect the Red Sox righties to get the ball in play plenty against Sabathia while Price will have plenty of landmines to avoid. The number has been steamed, but both the game total over 10 and the Red Sox team totals deserve consideration. Wilson

I also fancy the over 10. CC is on my fade radar, and Price’s struggles are well documented in this stadium. I think we could see a classic long Sox-Yankees shootout. — Stuckey

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