Moneyline: Red Sox (-160) Yankees (+150)
Starting Pitchers: Yankees (Hughes) vs. Red Sox (Beckett)
C.C. Sabathia finally got the Boston Red Sox monkey off his back last night, and the Yankees pulled to within half a game of first place in the AL East. As should be expected in a series between these two, there were some extra fireworks in last night’s game. There were four batters hit by a pitch in the game, and Joe Girardi was ejected in the bottom of the ninth. This is a rivalry that needs no extra motivation, but the race for first in the AL East is intensifying things a little bit more.
The Yankees will likely be without Alex Rodriguez in this one, but the offense has been hitting very well of late. Robinson Cano has been the steadiest producer for the Yankees this year, but guys like Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher have rebounded from slow starts to have a great season. Curtis Granderson is part of the AL MVP talk because of his amazing numbers this year. Granderson has hit 38 homers, 10 triples, and he has knocked in 107 runs. The Yankees continue to be the runaway leader in home runs as a team. Phil Hughes has pitched a little better of late, but this will be a real test for him. The Yankees really need Hughes to pitch like he is capable of pitching if they are going to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Josh Beckett will be on the mound for the Red Sox in this one. Beckett has been stellar against the Yankees this season. He has an ERA under 2 and the Red Sox have won all four of his starts against New York in 2011. Beckett had a rough season last year, but he has been spectacular this season. The Red Sox are first in the majors in team batting average at .280. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting an amazing .342 with 23 homers and 103 RBI’s this year. Gonzalez would likely win the AL MVP if the voting were today. Jacoby Ellsbury would also receive plenty of consideration. Ellsbury is hitting .312 with 23 homers and 36 stolen bases so far this year. This Red Sox lineup is very difficult to tame.
The price is a little steeper than I normally like to play, but I think the Red Sox are the only way to play this one. The Red Sox are 5-0 in Beckett’s last 5 starts against the Yankees.
Free MLB Pick: Red Sox ML
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