Yankees vs. Red Sox MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: How to Bet Sunday Night Baseball at Fenway Park (Sunday, July 10)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: JD Martinez.
- Baseball's best rivalry takes place in prime time as the Red Sox host the Yankees at Fenway Park.
- The Yankees are the best team in baseball, but don't expect them to run away with this game.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down the matchup and shares his best bets below.
Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||+120|
|Over/Under||9 (-130 / +110)|
|Time||7:08 p.m. ET|
The Yankees are making the baseball world their playground and it's to the total detriment of Red Sox fans everywhere.
The Yankees were the first team to 40 wins, 50 wins and 60 wins and they've built a solid 15-game advantage in the AL East. They have the best offense in baseball, the best bullpen in baseball, the best rotation in baseball and the best run differential in baseball.
The Red Sox are dealing with injury issues and haven't been themselves recently. However, they're playing .700 ball since a disastrous 10-19 start to the season. Combine Boston's success with Tampa's, Toronto's, Baltimore's recent surge and the AL East has become the best division in baseball.
All three AL Wild Card spots are currently held by AL East teams and the Orioles are just four games back of the third spot.
But I digress. We're getting a special Sunday Night Baseball game this week as the sport's biggest rivals face off under the lights.
Who has the edge?
New York Yankees: Can Anyone Quiet These Bats?
Let's qualify my statement above, that the Yankees have the best offense, rotation and bullpen in baseball.
First, the Yankees lead the league in wRC+ this season (119). Ever the true three-outcome team, the Bronx Bombers have hit 12 more home runs than any other team (144) while leading the league in walks (10.3 BB%).
The lineup is led by three sluggers in Aaron Judge (176 OPS+), Giancarlo Stanton (136 OPS+) and Anthony Rizzo (139 OPS+). Stanton and Judge both rank in the 100th percentile in avg. exit velocity and barrel rate, while Rizzo ranks above the 80th percentile in both.
As a result, the Yankees lead the league in avg. exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel rate. And outside of the Braves, it isn't particularly close.
Image credit: Baseball Savant
The Yankees just hit the ball harder than anyone else and do so while getting guys on base so they can drive them in.
Second, the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball. They are tied atop the leaderboard in reliever ERA (2.62) with Houston, but have done so without blowing a single ninth-inning-or-later lead and while dealing with personnel issues.
Chad Greene, Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman were the foundation of the Yankees' bullpen last season. The former two are currently on the Injured List and Chapman has been dealing with all sorts of issues.
Instead, Michael King and Wandy Peralta have stepped into the setup roles and delivered a combined 2.13 ERA over 76 innings. They've also notched 85 strikeouts during the stretch, with King striking out over 12 batters per nine innings.
And don't get me started on Clay Holmes, who has stepped into the closer role and produced 16 saves with a 0.47 ERA and a .711 WHIP. He's shut the door on everyone he's faced with a series of 9-mph sinkers that move like this:
Clay Holmes, Filthy Sinkers. 😷🔐 pic.twitter.com/XZIoiYLXR3
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 8, 2022
Finally, the Yankees have the best rotation in baseball. The Yankees have the second-best starting pitcher ERA (3.14) and the third-best xFIP (3.46). They're also far ahead of anyone in K/BB ratio (4.4).
New York is enjoying a breakout year from Nestor Cortes, the return of Luis Severino and above-average performances from Jordan Montgomery and Jameson Taillon. Perennial Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole has the fourth-highest ERA in the Yanks' rotation.
Lucky for Boston, they're facing the one guy who has been worse this season.
But put everything together and this is how you play .725 baseball. It's a really special team and every player seems to be peaking.
Starting pitcher: Jameson Taillon (RHP)
Taillon has been the "worst" pitcher in the rotation by ERA, but he's already accumulated 1.9 fWAR over 89 1/3 innings. That's 12th in the American League and the most of any Yankee pitcher.
Taillon has been consistent and hasn't been overperforming. His xERA and xFIP fall right in line with his current ERA and he has yet to post a non-quality start. He's allowed less than two runs in all 16 starts this year and the Yankees have won 13 of them.
It's hard to find any big noticeable difference that's led to Taillon's improvement from his time in Pittsburgh. However, I've found two marked differences.
First, Taillon's taken full control of his game. He's walking fewer batters than ever in his career — just 1.11 batters per nine innings — including seven starts of zero walks. He's allowing some hits, but the drop in walk rate means he's dropped his WHIP over half a point year-over-year.
Part of that might be because he's throwing fewer fastballs — our second reason. He threw his fastball about half the time his first year in New York, which was surprising considering his past usage, but that number is down to about a third.
The fastball hasn't been overwhelmingly solid, but it may have had some effect on his secondary stuff. Specifically, his curveball, which has accumulated a -5 Run Value this season after accumulating a +7 Run Value in 2021.
Boston Red Sox: It's Too Early to Panic
The Red Sox are struggling. They haven't looked remotely competitive against their biggest rivals and have lost more games against AL East opponents than they've won.
But I'm not ready to fret yet.
This is a lineup that ranks among the top 10 teams in wRC+ both on the season and over the past 30 days. They also rank among the top five teams in avg. exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel rate. Boston doesn't mash the ball as much as New York does, but they're as close as any other lineup.
Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez and Trevor Story have all been inconsistent this season, but they're all plus-plus hitters. Plus, the insertion of Jarren Duran at the leadoff spot has brought a different, but welcomed, offensive look to Fenway.
But Rafael Devers is Boston's engine and he leads the AL in fWAR (4.3). Devers strikeout rate is down 4% from a year ago (17.8%) and he's on pace to post the highest ISO of his career (.265).
Devers' Baseball Savant page paints him as one of the best hitters in baseball, which he is.
Image credit: Baseball Savant
While ranking in the 27th percentile in Outs Above Average (OAA) isn't a good look, Devers has made remarkable strides at the hot corner. He ranked in the fourth percentile in that stat in 2019 and the first percentile last season.
The most surprising development of the Red Sox this season is just that — defense. Between 2019 and 2021, the Red Sox pitching staff had the biggest difference between their FIP and ERA of any team (-0.38). But this year, the Red Sox rank sixth in OAA and 10th in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS).
The addition of Story helps — he ranks second among second basemen in OAA and third in DRS — but the whole defense has taken a step forward. Bogaerts has been arguably the worst defensive shortstop in baseball the past few years, but he's been league average this season.
As a result, the pitching staff's FIP-ERA has flipped and the Red Sox can sustain pitch-to-contact guys like Rich Hill and Michael Wacha.
Let's talk more about that pitching staff.
Starting pitcher: Nick Pivetta (RHP)
Right now, four-fifths of Boston's five-man rotation is on the IL. As a result, here's how the last turn through the rotation went:
- Nick Pivetta
- Brayan Bello (Rookie)
- Josh Winckowski (Rookie)
- Connor Seabold (Rookie)
- Kutter Crawford (Rookie)
Can you blame the Red Sox for losing right now?
What's worse is that Pivetta has been struggling. The Canadian is often streaky and puts together stretches of superhero starts before he regresses into mediocrity.
Pivetta allowed seven runs over 5 2/3 innings the last time out against Tampa and recently allowed four runs over five innings against the Angels. He didn't look particularly confident in either start.
Pivetta used to be Boston's X-factor. Putting a confident Pivetta next to Nathan Eovaldi made this rotation, at minimum, tolerable. And during an 11-start stretch in which Pivetta averaged almost seven innings per start with an ERA under 2.00, the Red Sox went 33-15.
Right now, Pivetta is Boston's lifeline. The only pitcher who can drag along this rotation until reinforcements arrive. He must pitch well and the Red Sox must win when he starts.
Sadly, Pivetta has pitched to a 6.75 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees and has walked almost 10% of Bronx Bombers he's faced.
Expect a steady dose of four-seam fastballs — a pitch that's nearly impossible to hit when it's on — as he throws it more than half the time and has accumulated a -15 Run Value on the pitch this season.
Pivetta just allows too much hard contact. He ranks in the bottom 10% of pitchers in avg. exit velocity allowed and that exit velocity is up considerably from 2021.
Yankees-Red Sox Pick
This is a tough game to handicap. The odds seem very fair on both sides, as does the total.
I'm leaning toward the Red Sox. I think the Sox hold value despite how pathetic they've looked in this rivalry series. This time around, they have their starting pitcher on the mound.
I'm also leaning toward the over. Runs have come in bunches during this series, with six runs being scored in just the first inning the other night.
However, both prices are slightly off for me.
To back the Red Sox, I'm looking for the line to move up toward +125. You won't catch me backing the Yankees as a divisional road favorite, but you won't catch me fading them at such short odds.
And to take the over, I'd rather have a juiced over 8.5 than an EV 9, which is where the market stands currently. A 5-4 game seems rather likely in a nationally televised game between these two powerhouses.
If neither price gets there, I'll happily pass and enjoy the best rivalry in sports on Sunday Night.
Picks: Red Sox ML at +125 or better | Over 8.5 at -120 or better
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