The Yankees have lost five straight, and their postseason hopes are all but done after slipping behind the Angels. The Red Sox’ hopes are still very much alive. Standing in their way on Saturday is AL Cy Young frontrunner Gerrit Cole. The Yankees are home favorites at -178 on the moneyline.
Let’s make predictions for Saturday’s matchup and take a look at why the Red Sox are a better value despite Cole’s success this season.
Red Sox vs. Yankees Prediction
The Yankees’ season took a turn for the worse after Aaron Judge’s injury, and that’s best reflected in their record when Cole starts. Pre-injury, New York was 11-2 with Cole on the mound. Since then, they’re just 5-7. Cole continues to be the Cy Young leader, but the Yankees just haven’t given him enough run support to make bettors confident in the team.
The Red Sox are 6-1 against the Yankees this season and showed Friday night that what’s been a pretty poor road offense isn’t intimidated by Yankee Stadium. If the Red Sox can get just a little something going against Cole and get to a Yankees bullpen that has hit some bumps recently, they should be able to give Kutter Crawford and their own bullpen enough run support to have a real chance in this one.
This game looks much more like a tossup than the odds indicate, and that makes the Red Sox a clearly better value at +150 on the moneyline.
Red Sox vs. Yankees Prediction: Red Sox Moneyline (+150)
Red Sox vs. Yankees Odds
The Yankees are home favorites at -178 on the moneyline. The over/under is 8 runs.
The Yankees are favored, so you know what that means: Gerrit Cole is pitching. That’s about the only scenario that’ll put a struggling New York team in this position. Does the Yankees’ sluggish offense have enough in the tank to give Cole some run support?
Red Sox vs. Yankees Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Red Sox vs. Yankees.
Gerrit Cole vs. Pitch Count Issues
The Yankees have leaned heavily on their excellent bullpen this season, but the unit has been closer to the middle of the pack in August as their biggest arms pile on the innings. It’s certainly not all bad – Keynan Middleton has been a big pickup – but getting to the bullpen is something the Red Sox will want to do with Cole on the mound.
Cole is coming off three consecutive starts with multiple walks, but he’s been able to linger deep into games partly by limiting strikeouts. Cole has gone at least 6 IP in 13 of his last 14 starts, the only exception being when the Rangers knocked him around for nine hits in 4.2 IP.
Can the Red Sox get to Cole and take him out of the equation early? Boston hits just .234 on the road compared to .286 at home, so the odds of consistently generating hits don’t seem terrific.
Aaron Judge vs. Kutter Crawford
A late home run on Friday night was a friendly reminder that Aaron Judge remains the Yankees’ biggest (and only) offensive threat. In a game that could be decided by a single run with Cole on the mound, Kutter Crawford has to avoid mistakes against Judge.
While he hasn’t been as dominant as he was before he went on the IL, Judge has reached base in 11 consecutive games and will be a major power threat as long as his arms are working.
Crawford has been serviceable for the Red Sox this season, transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation out of necessity, but he has a shaky home run rate of 1.4 per nine innings. He’s allowing a sub-.300 OBP since the start of July, though, so keeping the ball in the ballpark has been a recipe for success for Crawford.
Red Sox vs. Yankees Starting Lineups
Red Sox Starting Lineup
RF Alex Verdugo L
3B Rafael Devers L
DH Justin Turner R
LF Masataka Yoshida L
1B Triston Casas L
SS Trevor Story R
CF Jarren Duran L
C Connor Wong R
2B Pablo Reyes R
Yankees Starting Lineup
1B DJ LeMahieu R
RF Aaron Judge R
LF Jake Bauers L
DH Giancarlo Stanton R
2B Gleyber Torres R
LF Isiah Kiner-Falefa R
CF Harrison Bader R
SS Anthony Volpe R
C Kyle Higashioka R