On Thursday, the New York Yankees (6-6) will travel to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox (9-2), with a 7:10 pm ET first pitch. This is the rubber match of a three game series that saw the Red Sox win the opening game and the Yankees take Wednesday night’s contest. The Yankees will send Sonny Gray (1-0) to take on Boston’s Rick Porcello (2-0)
The first two games of this series have already been wild and contentious. Tuesday night’s game saw the Red Sox absolutely destroy the Yankees, 14-1. In that game Mookie Betts went off at the plate, going 4 for 4 with 4 runs batted in, 5 runs scored and a home run. Chris Sale went six innings, only allowing one earned run and eight strikeouts.
Wednesday night added fireworks to the already heated rivalry. After benches cleared due to a Tyler Austin hard slide at second that led to Red Sox shortstop, Brock Holt, being spiked, things really got heated when Joe Kelly drilled Austin in a later at bat. Frustrated by the bean ball, Austin rushed at Kelly and benches cleared and punches were thrown. Fast forward to Thursday and it has the makings for a very exciting game.
The moneyline for the game is set at New York Yankees +101 and the Boston Red Sox at -106. The over/under on total runs scored is set at 9.
Red Sox Look to Continue Dominant Start
At 9-2, the Red Sox have been one of the hottest teams in baseball to start the season. In fact, after losing the first game of the season to the Rays, the Red Sox had won nine straight games before their loss on Wednesday. They have gotten hot starts from Mookie Betts (.405 average, 2 home runs) and Hanley Ramirez (.357 average, 2 home runs). In Wednesday’s game, they also got a big game from J.D. Martinez, who went 2-4 with a grand slam off of Yankees starter, Masahiro Tanaka. If he can get going, the Red Sox offense becomes that much scarier.
The Red Sox will throw Rick Porcello in the series finale on Thursday. Porcello is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a .240 batting average against. He has 11 strikeouts and only one walk and most importantly, especially when facing the Yankees’ sluggers, he has not given up a home run to this point. In his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays, Porcello went 7.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and striking out 7.
Yankees Look to Get Over .500
After acquiring Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason, the Yankees were expected to take the league by storm and slug their way to a division title. Unfortunately for the Bronx Bombers, the season has started off pretty slowly and frustration has already hit some of the fans and players. While Stanton has prodigious power, witnessed in his two home run debut on opening day, he also has a tendency to whiff a lot (he has 23 strikeouts through 12 games). This seems to have been lost on many Yankees fans as he was heard being booed in the Yankees home opener after he struck out five times.
Regardless, for the Yankees to be successful, they will rely heavily on the power of Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. On Wednesday night, they were finally able to get contributions from Sanchez. He erupted to go 3-5 with 2 home runs, 4 runs batted in and 3 runs scored. Despite the three hit game, Sanchez is still only batting .122, but this is the type of game that Yankees fans hope get him going.
On Thursday, the Yankees will throw Sonny Gray in the finale. Gray is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA. He has a 1.60 WHIP and is allowing a .268 batting average against. In his last game, Gray got the win over the Baltimore Orioles going 6 innings, allowing 3 earned runs, 4 hits and striking out 4. He’ll look to build off of this quality start against a much more potent Red Sox lineup.
Yankees Top Red Sox
I think Wednesday’s game might be the type that get the Yankees rolling off a handful of victories. I don’t think that Sonny Gray will pitch well, but I still think that Stanton, Judge, Sanchez and company will outslug the Red Sox in this one. Take the Yankees +101.