Sunday Night Baseball Betting Guide: Red-Hot Red Sox Seek Four-Game Sweep Over Yankees

Credit:

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Sunday Night Baseball Betting Odds: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

  • Yankees odds: +165
  • Red Sox odds: -180
  • Over/Under: 10
  • Probable starters: Domingo German vs. Chris Sale
  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET on ESPN

All odds as of 1 p.m. ET

Uh oh. Everybody in the American League is officially on high alert.

The defending champions have officially woken up from their post World Series hangover and look as dangerous as last season. The red-hot Red Sox will look to compete the four-game sweep over their AL East rival Yankees on Sunday night.

A win would get the now second-place Sox to only seven-games back of first in a division that looked to be completely over just a week ago. The Red Sox are also tied with the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot heading into Sunday.

The Starters

By Sean Zerillo

After showing his lowest average fastball velocity (91.5 mph) since April on July 18 vs. the Blue Jays, Sale’s fastball was back up to 94.9 mph in Tampa Bay on July 23, his highest average velocity of the 2019 season.

In 15 starts since May, Sale has pitched to a 2.57 FIP and 2.47 xFIP, and his swinging strike rate (15%) over that stretch splits the difference between his 2019 and 2018 season averages.

I’m ready to trust him again. The 1.98 FIP from 2019 isn’t coming back, but I do think that this is the same Chris Sale that we saw in 2017 (2.45 FIP, 2.65 xFIP), which makes sense given the velocity spike in 2018, and regression late last year and into this season.

Like mostly every other pitcher in baseball, Sale is experiencing more hard contact against his pitches this season, as I think the lower seams on the baseball are causing his sliders to miss and hang in the zone more frequently.

He has allowed 1.31 home runs per nine innings this season, against a career rate of 0.93, and a previous season high of 1.07 (2016). The average exit velocity on batted balls against him has risen three mph from 84.7 mph in 2018 (top 4%).

But Sale is still dominating the strike zone, with a 29% strikeout minus walk rate, and he remains the rare pitcher who can give fits to this potent Yankees lineup.

Domingo German actually has a home run problem. He has allowed 1.6 home runs per nine innings for his career, and 1.77 per nine innings in 2019.

He allows flyballs at a 40% rate, and batters have homered on 17% of those flyballs — as they pull his pitches 50.4% of the time — the highest mark in baseball.

German certainly has the secondary stuff (big curveball, good changeup) to be an effective pitcher at the MLB level, but he also isn’t nearly the all-star caliber arm that some thought him to be earlier this season. He has the profile of a No. 3, or mid-rotation starter.

The Red Sox have a big edge in this starting pitching matchup, and that gap only appears to be widening based upon the recent performances of these two arms.


The Bullpens

By Stuckey

The Yankees have the best bullpen on paper in all of baseball, especially when healthy. And even without one of their best arms still in the mix in Betances, the numbers back that sentiment up. New York’s relievers have a top 5 ERA (3.89) and the second-most saves (35).

There are a couple concerns with the middle relief and a potential velocity drop with close Aroldis Chapman, but this pen is as good as it gets in baseball. The problem this series has been getting to the final three innings with a lead or even a small deficit.

The Red Sox pen doesn’t have as much talent or nearly as good of numbers (19th in ERA) but it is getting healthier. Getting Nathan Eovaldi back will help tremendously moving forward.

They also have as much strikeout stuff as any pen in the league. In fact, the Boston bullpen leads the majors with a 10.75 K/9 rate.

In regards to availability, the Yankees are in better shape when it comes to their elite backend guys. Boston likely has every reliever available if needed in such an important game but Eovaldi did pitch in two of the first three games of the series (including 36 pitches yesterday) — and Brandon Workman has worked in back-to-back games.

While the Yankees haven’t had a starter make it through 5 innings in over a week, they will have their entire backend available and completely fresh — one of the perks of losing three straight. Only Chad Green won’t be available after throwing 47 pitches out of the pen on Saturday.

If the game is tied in the seventh — advantage Yankees. But the question is can German actually make it through five innings while keeping the Yanks in the game — something the starters failed to do in each of the first three games of the series.

Umpire Report

By Collin Wilson

Balls and strikes will be called by Fieldin Culbreth, who owns a record of 237-215 to the Under. His lifetime number of 52.4% is good enough for +12.85 units to under wagers. His average runs per game are 8.6.

Culbreth also has a 264-204 record for home teams. His 56.4% has made bettors 11.21 units when backing home teams.

Staff Favorite Bets

Wilson (Under 10): A small investment on the Under. Both Sale and German have the ability to throw quality starts. Taking an Under in a Red Sox-Yankees game isn’t generally a winner, but with our Umpire trends on a getaway game it is worth a bit of spare change.

Stuckey (Under 10): It’s scary with this Yankees lineup facing a lefty — and the Red Sox facing a righty. However, this total is simply inflated after the results over the first three games of this series. I trust German to give me a quality start here, which will get to the rested elite arms sitting in the Yankees pen. That will be an enormous difference from earlier this series. I also see some slight value on the Yanks.

Zerillo (Pass): In a weather-neutral vacuum I would show value on the under here, but I don’t like the weather or performance trends for this content. Unders have been slightly profitable at Yankee Stadium in 2019, but they are 15-41-2 (-27 units) when the Yankees are on the road, losing by an average margin of 2.6 runs.


Trends to Know

The Yankees-Red Sox total is 10. This is tied for the largest over/under in a Chris Sale start. In all games that Sale has pitched with a total of 9 or more runs, the under has gone 12-4-2. — John Ewing

However, since 2005, Yankee-Red Sox games with a double-digital over/under are 37-20-3 (64.9%) to the over. Dating back to 2012, ten consecutive games in this rivalry have gone over the total in this spot, including eight consecutive at Fenway Park. — Evan Abrams

In the Bet Labs database, there have been 41 Sunday Night Baseball games at Fenway Park since 2005. The over has gone 27-12-2 (69.2%) in those games, going over by an average of 1.23 runs per game. Fenway Park is the most profitable ballpark to the over on Sunday Night Baseball since 2005, profiting bettors $1,480 on a $100 per game basis. — Evan Abrams

The Yankees are +164 underdogs. In the past 10 years, the Bronx Bombers have gone 29-28 when closing as a +150 underdog or greater. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $2,085. — John Ewing

Boston has scored eight or more runs against New York in six straight games. A majority of moneyline tickets are on the Red Sox, but the Yankees are 11-2 when getting less than 50% of bets, winning by 3.6 runs per game. — John Ewing

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