MLB Odds & Picks for Yankees vs. Red Sox: How to Bet This Rivalry Game on Sunday Night Baseball
Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images. Pictured: Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Yankees)
- The Yankees and Red Sox wrap up their three-game set with a series-deciding Sunday Night Baseball affair.
- Boston has dropped to last place in the division, and they are sending Michael Wacha to the hill to face off against Jameson Taillon.
- Who is our expert Tanner McGrath betting on? Find out below.
Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||+115|
|Time||7:08 p.m. ET|
The Red Sox went 20-6 in June. The whole team was coming together. Rafael Devers was slugging alongside J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, and Trevor Story was finally starting to contribute in Boston. There were bullpen issues, but the rotation was solid.
The injury bug has hit, though, and the Red Sox have fully broken down. Four-fifths of the starting rotation went on the IL, alongside Story, Enrique Hernandez and Devers for a little while.
Since that magical month, the Red Sox are 13-25 and have dropped to last in the division. The Orioles are a full four games ahead of the Red Sox. When was the last time that happened?
There is nothing new about the Yankees, who continue to roast the rest of the big leagues. They picked up a 3-2 victory over Boston just last night.
Can the Red Sox bounce back in this one? Or will the Yankees continue to blow by their inferior division rival?
And, more importantly, where does the value lie in this affair?
Regression From Yanks?
The Yankees haven’t been the Yankees lately. They’re 8-14 in the second half so far and just 3-8 in August. The Cardinals swept them and the Mariners took two of three.
Luckily, the Yankees have built up so much goodwill that this streak won’t affect them much. The Yanks still have a double-digit lead in the division and a run differential north of +200. They aren’t the best team in baseball anymore — that title goes back to the Dodgers — but they are in the driver’s seat.
The Yankees need to be careful, though. The Astros are the current No. 1 seed in the AL, and I don’t think the Bombers want to lose home-field advantage in a potential 2019 ALCS rematch.
I think this is your general regression. The Yankees weren’t going to play .780 ball over the course of a 162-game season.
While the offense has been top-10, the pitching staff has stumbled since the All-Star break (4.40 xFIP, 24th in MLB).
The Yankees may seem vulnerable, but this is normal.
Starting Pitcher: Jameson Taillon (RHP)
Jameson Taillon has been a model of consistency. He’s tossed 120 innings over 22 starts this season, doing so with an ERA, xERA and FIP all between 3.89 and 4.03. He’s accumulated a 1.5 fWAR and largely has given the Yankees a chance to win.
And given these are the Yankees, they have taken care of business. The Bronx Bombers are a whopping 17-5 in Taillon starts this season. Taillon has been an important and effective middle-rotation guy.
There’s nothing overly special about the righty. He relies on a league-average four-seam fastball, but mixes in five other pitches (mainly a slider and curve). His control is excellent (4.8 BB%), but his batted-ball statistics are messy.
Taillon has tossed against the Red Sox twice this season. He gave up six runs over five innings on July 10, but then followed it up five days later by tossing five one-run innings.
Tommy Pham Leading Red Sox Offense
Many mocked Chaim Bloom for his seemingly irrational deadline moves. They sold Christian Vazquez, but then went out and acquired Tommy Pham and Reese McGuire. Where is the direction?
I didn’t mind the overall strategy. It’s a soft buy that involves moving a 31-year-old catcher in a contract year for two hot-hitting prospects. They picked up outfield depth and will replace Vazquez with a catcher-by-committee approach. Remember, Boston is still only four games out of a playoff spot.
Additionally, Pham has been the only player worth a damn in the second half. Boston has been a back-half offense over the last two weeks, but Pham has upped his OPS 50 points and has smacked three homers.
Another clutch moment included this:
TOMMY PHAM IS THE NEW FACE OF THE RED SOX FRANCHISE!! pic.twitter.com/t2t1U5Nya1
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 13, 2022
I’d rather have Pham somewhere in the middle of the lineup than Jackie Bradley Jr.’s .578 OPS, even if it involves a major step-back in defense.
Starting Pitcher: Michael Wacha (RHP)
Micahel Wacha has the third-highest bWAR on the Red Sox this season (2.2). He hasn’t pitched in a month and a half.
That’s the best summary of his season that I can provide.
But it is nice to have Wacha back in the rotation. His bounce-back has been almost impossible. I was calling this guy the worst pitcher in baseball less than a year ago, given he ranked below the 10th percentile in almost every important statistical category.
But he’s put together an astounding resume this season, posting an ERA under 2.70 with a 6-1 record. The Red Sox are also 9-4 in his starts. He pitched a complete-game shutout in a 1-0 win over the Angels just a few starts ago.
For a guy that couldn’t get through three innings with the Rays, it’s staggering to watch. And he looked great in his rehab start in Worcester.
Michael Wacha looked just fine during his rehab start for the @WooSox:
8 Ks pic.twitter.com/m99l2NON7W
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) August 5, 2022
Massive regression is coming for Wacha, though. He’s a soft-tossing righty who doesn’t force enough weak contact. As such, his xERA is approaching 5.00. But considering his xERA was above 5.00 in three of the past four seasons, this is an improvement.
He works primarily through a three-pitch mix, but leans heavily on his changeup, a pitch that has an interesting look.
Michael Wacha grips his changeup like a four seam, but aggressively turns his over, resulting in a two seam-like spin. pic.twitter.com/5oPcLMflll
— Alex Kachler (@Alexkachler10) August 7, 2022
Yankees-Red Sox Pick
Sharp money has been hitting the Yankees ML, but it’s a little high for my liking.
The smarter money is on the over, which has taken less than 50% of the tickets, but more than 90% of the handle. The first two games of this three-game set went under, but the Yanks and Red Sox went over their listed total in seven straight matchups prior.
Taillon and Wacha are solid, but also predictable and not infallible. The Yankees’ staff is slumping and the Red Sox’s bullpen is a mess, meaning there are late-game runs to be had.
Let’s not forget that these are two of the hardest-hitting lineups in baseball. The Red Sox aren’t on the same level, but have shown the ability to put runs on the board.
I’ll take the over, which you can still get at 9 (-120) at PointsBet.
Pick: Over 9 (-120)