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Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bronx Bombers Turn to Gerrit Cole (July 23)

Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bronx Bombers Turn to Gerrit Cole (July 23) article feature image

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Gerrit Cole.

  • The Yankees look to bounce back from a tough loss with Gerrit Cole on the mound at Fenway Park.
  • New York is still within reach of a wild-card spot, but it needs to go on a solid run over the final couple months of the season.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down whether bettors can find value in the Yanks as underdogs with Cole facing Boston.

Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds

Yankees Odds+100
Red Sox Odds-120
TimeFriday, 7:10 p.m. ET
TVMLB Network
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings

The Yankees lost a gut-wrenching game on Thursday night by blowing a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning before succumbing to a 5-4 defeat in extra innings against the Red Sox. Boston now holds an 8-2 advantage in the season series and has stretched out to an 8 1/2-game lead over New York in the American League East.

The Bronx Bombers will try to bounce back in the second game of the series with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Cole's last start was actually against the Red Sox in a rain-shortened 3-1 victory.

He'll be opposed by Eduardo Rodriguez, who, like Cole, also pitched in the series last weekend and picked up a 4-0 victory. In fact, the Red Sox have won all three of his starts against the Yankees this season. That's pretty remarkable especially considering he's pitching to a 5.19 ERA.

At some point, you'd have to think some regression will set in, and a head-to-head matchup against Cole could be enough to do the trick.

Yankees Still in Reach of Postseason Spot

Normally, I would start by waxing poetically about Cole and all his triumphs this season as a frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award. And while I think his exploits on the mound are valid, I think we should focus on the Yankees' spirit for this series.

I know New York lost a heartbreaker in the series opener. It happens. That's all a part of baseball. But what we've seen from this team is a certain fire and resilience that hasn't always been there throughout the season.

The Yankees went into yesterday's game on a four-game winning streak. Two of those victories were against Boston as New York was missing multiple starters and suited up a bunch of players I couldn't pick out of a lineup.

Nonetheless, it took two out of three from Boston and capped things off with a 9-1 victory in primetime on Sunday night.

New York is five games above .500 (50-45), putting a wild card spot certainly within reach, just 4 1/2 games behind Oakland.

As a result, there's still plenty to play for if you're the Yankees, and I think we've seen a more concerted effort right out of the All-Star break.

Before last weekend, it looked like the Red Sox would sweep the Yankees again given their depleted lineup, and yet New York won the series. Thus, at this point, does anyone really expect the Red Sox to go 17-2 in the season series?

These things generally have a way of working back to the middle, and I, for one, am not ready to pour dirt over the Yankees just yet.

Rodriguez Appears Due for Positive Regression

Since I gave more of a soft assessment on the Yankees, I'll switch things up and be a bit more technical in discussing the Red Sox. I think I did this subconsciously because I'm actually quite interested in taking a closer look at Rodriguez, who does befuddle me at times.

If you look at his traditional numbers, he's 7-5 with a 5.19 ERA. Even his 1.33 WHIP signals that something's amiss. A deeper dive into his advanced numbers suggests that he's pitched even better than you might think.

Per FanGraphs, Rodriguez has a 3.65 xERA, 3.51 FIP and 3.33 xFIP. All three are more than 1.5 runs below his ERA. His 2.17 BB/9 ratio is more than respectable, and he's striking out 10.57 batters per nine innings.

The thing with Rodriguez is he's often pitching with traffic on the basepaths, and that's where the runs can come in bunches. With the bases empty, batters have a .247/.290/.416 line and a .305 wOBA but with a runner on, they have a .320/.363/.510 line and a .373 wOBA. He'll be facing a Yankees lineup that has a .254/.337/.428 line against lefties vs. a .226/.316/.382 line against right-handers.

I'm well aware that Rodriguez shut out the Yankees (4-0) just a week ago, but New York is ranked sixth with an above-average 129 wRC+ value since then. They're actually ranked higher than Boston (eighth) under the same metric during that span, and New York is fourth with a 12.6% walk rate.

Getting that runner on base should be a key part of the game plan if it's to have any chance of defeating Rodriguez.

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Yankees-Red Sox Pick

As it stands late on Friday morning, Cole is actually being offered at a plus price and if it closes that way, it would be a first in his Yankees career.

I think the Yankees can still climb back into this season series and having their ace on the mound should give them a boost on Friday night. The chances of this series remaining lopsided seem unlikely as both the Red Sox and their starting pitcher are due for some regression.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Rodriguez won his last outing at home against the Yankees, and since August 2015, the Red Sox have alternated wins and losses in his last seven starts in this spot.
  • Cole lost his last outing on the road against Boston and in five career starts, his team's have alternated wins and losses at Fenway Park.

Lastly, the Yankees have done a good job of halting a Red Sox three-game winning streak as they're cashing 63% of the time in this spot.

All three things are active for tonight's game.

The only thing that gives me some trepidation for this game is a New York bullpen that's looked a little ragged the last month.

As a result, I'll use a half-unit of my bankroll and play the Yankees as a +100 underdog at DraftKings.

Pick: Yankees ML 0.5 unit (+100)

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