Boston moved to five games back of the Yankees with a 6-3 win last night at Yankee Stadium. “We have to keep winning – have to keep winning games,” designated-hitter David Ortiz said. “Everything else takes care of itself.” The All-Star slugger has been doing his part of late, hitting safely in 14 of his last 15 games, knocking six home runs and driving in 14 runs. The Red Sox have won eight of their last 11 games and 10 of 15. The club is 4-5 in this year’s series with their hated rivals, as the teams will play 18 total games against each other this season. Boston is 11-16 in day games this season (-980) and the total is 11-14 O/U in those contests. The club is also playing just its second game as a road underdog of +175 to +200 this season (+180) and the fourth time the last three years (1-2, -20).
Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey is 10-6 with a 4.48 ERA in 22 starts this season, but is coming off a disappointing outing last time out. He picked up a 6-5 home loss to the Indians, giving up six runs and nine hits over 5.1 innings. Before that appearance, Boston had won his previous three starts, outscoring the opposition by a 15-10 margin. The right-hander is an even 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 10 road starts this season, but has issued 31 walks and struck out 37 in 65.2 innings. In 17 career starts against the Yankees, Lackey is 5-7 with a 4.40 ERA, including tossing six shutout innings in his debut in a Red Sox uniform on April 7.
New York owns the best record in baseball (67-41, +220) and are a dominating 35-19 at home despite last night’s defeat. The club will play 11 of its next 17 games and 21 of their next 33 contests at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are 25-17 against divisional opponents this season (+120) and the total is 24-15 O/U in those games. Since August 6, 2009, the club has won 14 of their last 19 games against the Red Sox and have recorded five straight non-losing season series against them. New York is 27-13 in day games this season (+560) and the total is 20-17 in those contests. When the total is 8 to 8.5 this season, the team has compiled a dominating 20-5 mark (+1,340), including an 8-2 record at home (+460).
Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia is 13-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 23 starts this season, but is suffering through a two-game losing streak. New York has managed to provide just one run of support in those outings, while he has given up seven runs (five earned) and 17 hits over 13.2 innings. The big left-hander is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 home starts, as opponents are managing to hit just .218 against him. In 14 career outings versus the Red Sox, Sabathia is an even 5-5 with a 3.56 ERA. He carries a 2-0 record and 0.42 ERA in three career starts against Boston at the new Yankee Stadium.
Bettors will find the Red Sox being 9-2 in their last 11 Saturday games and the club going over in five of its last six games versus a left-handed starter. Despite being a -200+ favorite in this contest, it will be tough to play against the Yankees knowing that Sabathia hasn’t lost at home in 17 consecutive starts.