Yankees vs Red Sox Predictions: Sunday Night Baseball Picks

Yankees vs Red Sox Predictions: Sunday Night Baseball Picks article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge (left) and Rafael Devers (right).

  • The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox wrap the first installment of their rivalry series on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball at 7:10 p.m. ET.
  • Yankees vs Red Sox odds have the Yankees as -150 moneyline favorites with an over/under of 9 (-118o / -102u) for the starting pitching matchup between Marcus Stroman and Kutter Crawford.
  • MLB expert Kenny Ducey makes a Yankees vs Red Sox prediction on the total in his Sunday Night Baseball preview below.

Yankees vs Red Sox Predictions: Sunday Night Baseball Picks

New York Yankees Logo
Sunday, June 16
7:10 p.m. ET
Boston Red Sox Logo
New York Yankees Odds
MoneylineOver/UnderRun Line
-118o / -102u
Boston Red Sox Odds
MoneylineOver/UnderRun Line
-118o / -102u
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Caesars Sportsbook Logo

The Yankees were victimized by the Red Sox offense early on Saturday night and never quite recovered, dropping the second game of this series to set up a rubber match on Sunday Night Baseball from Boston's Fenway Park.

Now, they'll turn to Marcus Stroman for answers amidst what's been an effective first season in pinstripes. The right-hander has once again produced a plethora of ground balls, pitching well under his expected numbers to post a 6-2 record through 14 starts.

His counterpart, Kutter Crawford, is a fellow contact pitcher — only he's recorded most of his outs through the air. With his season heading in the wrong direction over his past four starts, can he figure out a tough New York offense to deliver a series win?

Let's break down the June 16 edition of Sunday Night Baseball and get into my Yankees vs Red Sox prediction.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Header First Logo

New York Yankees

New York has returned to form at the plate over the last seven days after getting Juan Soto back, posting a solid 123 wRC+ to rank sixth in baseball. Its strikeout and walk rates have been somewhat surprising, at around two points or worse than the season average, but a beefy .197 Isolated Power (ISO) has more than made up for it.

Still, however, this team is putting the ball on the ground at a considerably higher rate, though a ridiculous 22.8% home run-to-fly ball ratio in the last week would indicate it's just waiting around to face a fly-ball arm in a hitter's park (hint, hint).

Meanwhile, Stroman's been cooking for the last couple of months around a clunker of an outing at home against the Twins to start off the month of June. He left an elite infield defense in Chicago to join the Yankees, whose group ranks eighth in Outs Above Average (OAA) this year, and that's been the key to keeping his ERA almost two runs lower than his Expected ERA (xERA).

Still, with a .249 Expected Batting Average (xBA), which represents his best since 2019, we need to be a little more fair to him when discussing his ability to get outs on contact with consistency. The culprit for his xERA has been a combination of walks — which have been a big issue since the start of last season — and a pretty poor .431 Expected Slugging (xSLG), which comes along with pitching in a small park and so many batted balls.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston, on the other hand, is heating up at the dish, sitting just behind the Yankees in wRC+ over the last week and fourth for the last two. Over that 14-day span, this lineup has taken walks at a whopping 10% clip, though a high 25.2% strikeout rate does well to throw some cold water on that.

Still, even with the persistent strikeout issues, this is a team that sits fifth in ISO for the year and has only improved upon that mark over that time.

Crawford, as noted earlier, has been pitching to a wealth of fly balls and has done so to some relatively encouraging success with a .236 xBA and .414 xSLG. His whiff rate has dropped considerably over the last six outings, though he brought it way back up to around 27% in his last outing versus the Phillies.

That's still going to do it, however, as this is a guy whose 33.4% whiff rate for the season sits inside the top 10% of all pitchers and mitigates a lot of the risk that his fly balls bring.

In that outing, too, he had an alarming .598 xSLG and has now sat at .459 or higher in four of his last five. Batters are beginning to make better contact against the righty, and with more balls coming back in play, it's certainly a big concern heading into this one.

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Yankees vs. Red Sox

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Red Sox sit atop baseball with an .893 OPS against ground-ball pitchers, hitting a spicy .311, while the Yankees rank third with a .763 OPS versus fly-ball arms, hitting a stunning 56 home runs to lead MLB.

New York has been converting fly balls into home runs at a torrid clip lately, and with Crawford's issues in the slugging department, coupled with some walk issues, the Yankees should be reasonably expected to do some damage.

On the other hand, I'm not too confident in Stroman, either, with what we laid out about Boston's excellence against pitchers who roll up grounders. This is a team with a surprising amount of power, and if not for a ton of strikeouts and poor defense, it would likely be a much more formidable group in the division.

Stroman's issues with free passes should be glaring with the patience the Red Sox are exhibiting at the plate, and the Yankees should do plenty of damage in a hitter's park versus the struggling Crawford. This calls for many runs.

Pick: Over 9 | Bet to Over 9.5 (+108)

Pick: Over 9 | Bet to Over 9.5
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