One of the best rivalries in all of sports gets renewed for Sunday Night Baseball as the Boston Red Sox (59-54) take on the New York Yankees (71-39) at Yankee Stadium. For the defending champion Boston Red Sox, they have dug themselves quite a hole. They currently sit 13.5 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East and 5.5 games back for the second Wild Card spot. If they don’t right the ship quickly, their chances of repeating will be non-existent.
For the Yankees, despite all of the injuries they have endured throughout the season, they sit in first in the division with a commanding eight-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. The pitching matchup for this one will feature David Price (7-4, 3.86 ERA) going for the Red Sox against the Yankees’ J.A. Happ (8-6, 5.19 ERA). First pitch for this contest is scheduled for 7:08 pm ET.
At the time of this writing, the moneyline and over/under have not been posted. Make sure to check back in prior to the game, but I imagine that the Red Sox will come in as the underdogs.
By The Numbers
On the offensive side, these two come in as the highest-scoring teams in the game. The Red Sox rank first, averaging 5.78 runs per game (5.79 on the road). For the Yankees, they come in second, averaging 5.77 runs (5.26 at home).
On the pitching side, though, it is the Yankees that hold the slight edge. When it comes to earned run average, the Yankees rank 14th with a staff ERA of 4.36 (3.35 at home). For the Red Sox, they come in 20th with a staff ERA of 4.74 (4.68 on the road).
When you put it all together, it is the Yankees that come out ahead in run differential. They currently rank fourth in the majors with a run differential of +121, while the Red Sox come in eighth with a run differential of +68.
Red Sox Trying To End Skid
Having now lost seven games in a row (including the first three of this series against the Yankees), the Boston Red Sox are trying to turn things around. It has become so tumultuous that they held a players-only meeting between games of the doubleheader on Saturday; however, it was to no avail, as they lost both games 9-2 and 6-4.
Trying to end the losing streak Sunday will be lefty David Price. On the season, Price is 7-4 in 20 starts with a 3.86 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and opponents are hitting .249 against him. In 102 2/3 innings, he has allowed 99 hits, 44 earned runs, 13 home runs and has struck out 123 versus 29 walks.
Despite the play of JD Martinez and Mookie Betts, the two best hitters on the Red Sox this season have been Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts. On the season, Devers is hitting .323/.372/.567 with 22 home runs, 86 runs batted in and 90 runs scored. His partner on the left side of the infield, Bogaerts, has also been fantastic. This season, the shortstop is hitting .309/.389/.570 with 25 home runs, 84 runs batted in and 88 runs scored. With these two alongside Betts, Martinez, Benintendi, and others, it is no wonder why this is the best offensive team in baseball right now.
Yankees Hope To Pull Out The Brooms
Despite such a major lead on the Red Sox, the Yankees are well aware that you don’t want to give Boston any breathing room. With that in mind, they would love nothing more than to finish the sweep on Sunday.
In an attempt to do so, they will send lefty JA Happ to the mound. On the season, Happ is 8-6 in 21 starts with a 5.19 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and opponents are hitting .276 against him. In 109 1/3 innings, he has allowed 119 hits, 63 earned runs, 24 home runs and has struck out 89 versus 28 walks. In his last outing, a 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks, Happ went six innings, allowing eight hits, one walk, and three earned runs while striking out two.
On the offensive side, the Yankees continue to be decimated by injuries. They recently put Edwin Encarnacion on the injured list and are currently without some of their stars like Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez. In their absences, though, they have had others step up.
One example is Gleyber Torres. The young shortstop is currently hitting .288/.354/.518 with 23 home runs, 62 runs batted in and 70 runs scored. In his career against Price, Torres is 3 for 9 with a home run and three runs batted in.
Yankees Complete The Sweep
While I am not the biggest fan of JA Happ, it is hard to bet on the Red Sox right now. Yes, David Price has been arguably their best pitcher this season, but even he has struggled lately. In his last five starts, Price is 1-2 with a 5.55 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and opponents are hitting .284 against him. Even against a banged-up Yankees offense, that could spell trouble. It wouldn’t be shocking if Happ gives up runs too, but with the way these two teams are playing, I will be putting my money on the New York Yankees.