Just one week after the latest encounter in The Rivalry, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will collide once more, this time in the Bronx for a three-game set.
The Red Sox sent shockwaves when they blitzed their arch nemesis in the first three meetings last weekend, outscoring the Yankees by a whopping 25-run margin, 38-13. They could not pull off the four-game sweep, however, as the Yanks took the finale on last week’s ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast. Notably, the over cashed in all four contests.
New York holds a comfortable 8.5-game lead in the American League East, so they’re not really sweating a berth in October. The Sox are, though, having been fighting for playoff positioning all year long. Entering the new week, the defending champions are one game out of the second AL Wild Card spot.
Will Boston make another statement at the Bronx Bombers’ expense? Once again, it’s another intriguing series to monitor — and handicap. Let’s break down the matchups.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. James Paxton (Friday): As has been highlighted before in this column, Rodriguez is the majors’ No. 1 pitcher for overs, churning out a remarkable 17-5 record to the high side. Ironically, Rodriguez is enjoying a good season despite this, being 13-4 with a 4.13 ERA. The left-hander has been hot, too, winning his last seven decisions. That last one came against the Yanks at Fenway Park.
Paxton, meanwhile, has been going in the opposite direction, failing to pitch more than four innings in each of his last two starts and yielding 14 runs (10 earned) combined in the process. The former Seattle Mariner has a good track record of bouncing back when he’s registered consecutive poor starts, so look for him to rebound in this one despite the challenging opponent. UNDER
Chris Sale vs. Domingo German (Saturday): For the most part, Sale has had a hard time when dealing against the Yankees this season, posting a 7.71 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in three starts. It especially sticks out when you consider that Sale had a 2.11 ERA and 0.98 WHIP opposite New York in the prior two years after joining the Red Sox. In other words, his contributions to the 2019 version of the The Rivalry should come back closer to its norm.
German beat Sale in the aforementioned series finale last weekend, allowing three runs in 5.1 innings and matching a season-high with nine strikeouts. It was a much needed improvement from his previous outing, when he got shelled by the Minnesota Twins for eight runs, so that can be a sign that the third-year right-hander is rounding back into early-season form. UNDER
David Price vs. Chad Green (Sunday): New York’s starter for the third and final meeting in this series isn’t official after CC Sabathia (knee) went on the injured list, but look for Green to get the call as the opener. The former 11th-round draft choice has done a commendable job in the role, notching a 2.31 ERA in his eight “starts” and expect Nestor Cortes Jr. to follow. The two hurlers have combined to surrender nine runs in eight innings against the Sox in 2019.
Price, before his start on Tuesday, was in a bit of a rough patch, having collectively given up nine runs in back-to-back starts for the first time this season. That also didn’t include a date with New York, whom he managed to avoid last weekend. That was probably a good thing, as Price owns an undesirable 4.80 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 42 career starts (and one relief appearance) against the Yanks. OVER
Last week: 2-1
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