The New York Yankees have a chance to slice into their deficit in the AL East standings and the Boston Red Sox can increase their division lead when the hated rivals gather for the third of a four-game weekend set on Saturday. The Sox have had the lead for a majority of the season and it doesn’t appear as though they are going to relinquish it. Boston hammered the Yanks in the series opener 15-7 on Thursday night.
In an effort to close the gap, the Bombers added some arms at the deadline, acquiring J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn. Happ was scheduled to start his second game with the Yanks on Saturday, however he recently went on the DL and the assignment is to be determined. The Sox will counter with Nathan Eovaldi, who gets a view of the rivalry from the other side. Eovaldi spent two seasons with the Yankees before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016, winning a career-best 14 games in 2015.
First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. ET from historic Fenway Park on Saturday, August 4, 2018. The game will be televised live on FS1.
New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox
Date and Time: Saturday, August 4, 2018, 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
MLB Odds: (Click Here)
Probable Pitchers: TBD vs. Nathan Eovaldi
Yankees at Red Sox TV Coverage: FS1
The Yankees used the trade deadline to try and improve their club, but the strategy hasn’t paid off just yet. Needing a starter to counter Boston’s rotation, the Yanks acquired Happ from Toronto, and the lefty put in a nice effort in his first outing in pinstripes. But Happ’s recent illness and the thrashing the Bombers took on Thursday leaves the rotation in limbo for Saturday.
Happ was scheduled to start but went on the DL. Luis Cessa was a possibility to take Happ’s spot in the rotation, but Aaron Boone needed him to absorb a few innings out of the pen in Thursday 15-7 loss. It’s not a predicament the Yanks want to be in as they try and close the gap in the division after playing two of their worst games of the year. The Yanks lost to Baltimore on Wednesday with defensive lapses and they were hammered in the opener giving up 19 hits and 15 runs.
We expect the Sox to hit a slump at some point, but that time has yet to come and the way they’re playing it may never happen. There was a two-game slide last week and a loss to the Phillies in the previous series, but the Sox continue to hold the best record in the Majors and are on pace to obliterate the franchise record for wins.
With two legitimate MVP candidates in the everyday lineup, the Sox have the best offensive club in baseball. Mookie Betts had four hits in the opener and leads the Majors in batting average by a wide margin while slugging 25 homers. J.D. Martinez is two-thirds of the way to a triple crown with 32 homers and 90 RBIs while stroking at a .327 clip. As a team the Sox are hitting .270, scoring 5.34 runs with a .796 OPS, all tops in the Majors.
We don’t know who will start for the Yanks, but we know who won’t take the hill. Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn are out after they pitched Wednesday, C.C. Sabathia started Thursday and Luis Severino goes Friday. There is a possibility the Yanks reach to the minors for a quick call-up and Chance Adams could get a shot. Whoever takes the mound will have to contend with a team that rakes.
The acquisition of Nathan Eovaldi ( 4-4, 3.80 ERA ) looked genius after the righty dominated the Twins in his Sox debut. With a fastball consistently topping out at 97, Eovaldi was efficient and good, blanking the Twins for 7.0 innings on four hits without a walk. He threw just 82 pitches in that outing and has allowed only one run and 10 hits with 13 strikeouts and no walks over 13.0 innings of his last two starts.
Yankees vs Red Sox Picks
The teams split the first 10 games of the season series, but the Yanks are in a tough spot for this game. They haven’t named a starter and the options are limited. Whoever takes the bump will be facing a team that rips the baseball and has the best home record in the Majors. The Sox could hit 80 wins before any other teams gets to 70, that’s how much better they’ve been. And there’s a good chance Xander Bogaerts is back in the lineup, which makes the Sox that much more difficult to play against. At home with an edge on the hill, it’s tough not to go with the Sox in this one.
Yankees vs Red Sox Pick: Red Sox and the Over
Yankees vs Red Sox Score Prediction: Boston 7, New York 4
Check out the latest MLB betting odds.