MLB Picks 6/9 – Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
The Boston Red Sox (31-32) visit the New York Yankees (37-27) in the opener of a three-game set tonight. This is the first meeting between the bitter American League East rivals. Boston has lost 5 of their last 6 games and is coming off a 10-3 loss at Cleveland last night where Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez hit 3 home runs . New York split a double-header with the Chicago White Sox at home last night. Tonight’s starters are Garrett Whitlock (2-2, 5.61 ERA) for Boston and undefeated Gerrit Cole (7-0, 2.82 ERA) for New York, Cole is a frontrunner for the Cy Young Award.
Moneyline: Boston +142, New York-168
Run Line: Boston +1.5 (-154), New York -1.5 (+128)
Run Total: over 8 (-114) under 8 (-106)
After two decades of excellence that brought four World Series championships to Boston in 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018, the Boston Red Sox have experienced a bit of a drop off in recent years. Boston finished in last place a season ago at 78-84 and they enter tonight’s game in last place at 31-32 and are 14 games behind first place Tampa Bay in the tough American League East. Interestingly enough, Boston has scored 316 runs and given up 316 runs, so they are truly average in every sense of the word.
Boston’s starting pitching has been a big problem over the past two seasons as they’ve relied on aging vets like 37-year-old Corey Kluber and 34-year-old Chris Sale, alongside inconsistent, young starters in Brayan Bello and Tanner Houck. The oft-injured Sale (5-2, 4.58 ERA in 11 starts) has been impressive this season but he’s only started 11 games over the past two seasons. Boston ranks among the bottom 10 MLB teams in ERA, runs allowed and home runs allowed.
Boston’s offense has been outstanding this season as they are fourth in runs scored with 316 and lead all of baseball with 140 doubles. 26-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers 13 homers and 50 RBI lead the team. Boston signed the 2-time All-Star to a 10-year, 313.5-million-dollar contract in January and he’s more than delivered in year one. Devers has led Boston in homers for the past three seasons and was third on the team with 33 homers in 2018.
Boston also handed out a big contract to Japanese star outfielder Masataka Yoshida in December, they signed the 29-year-old to a 5-year, $90 million dollar contract. Yoshida has been outstanding in his first MLB season hitting .315 (3rd in the AL) with 7 homers and 33 RBI.
The defending American League East champion New York Yankees finished last season 99-63 and made it to the ALCS where they were swept by the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros. Last season, superstar center fielder Aaron Judge played in a career-high 157 games, hit a Yankees-record 62 home runs and was named the American League MVP. New York enters tonight’s game in third place with a 37-27 record and 8.5 games behind first place Tampa Bay.
Injuries have somewhat doomed New York in 2023 as Aaron Judge has spent 2 stints on the injured list, he missed 12 games earlier in the season with a right hamstring strain and he’s back on the IL due to a ligament strain in his right toe. Judge has been excellent when he’s played, hitting .291 with 19 homers (2nd in MLB) and 40 RBI across 49 games. Fellow slugger Giancarlo Stanton recently returned from a hamstring strain that sidelined him for nearly two months. Stanton has played in just 17 games this year but has been quite productive with 5 homers and 12 RBI. Starting pitcher Nester Cortes (5-2, 5.16 ERA) was recently placed on the 15-day IL with a rotator cuff injury.
Despite the injuries and being 8.5 games out of first in the AL East, New York is second among Wild Card teams and could be a dangerous team if Judge, Stanton and Cortes return to form. 22-year-old rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe has been a pleasant surprise for New York this year, hitting 9 homers and 26 RBI along with 14 stolen bases. Second baseman Gleyber Torres (.249, 10 HR 27 RBI) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo (.278, 11 HR 32 RBI) have provided some steady power production with Judge and Stanton being in and out of the lineup with injuries.
I’m going with the undefeated pitcher at home, take the Yankees on the moneyline -143
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