Boston Red Sox (31-25) @ New York Yankees (32-22)
Start Time: 00:05 BST
There are few greater rivalries in all of sports than the Red Sox & Yankees century plus long feud. The next instalment begins tonight when the Red Sox make their first 2017 visit to the Bronx. Though very little is won in June, one has the feeling that a series win for either team this week could be crucial come the business end of the season.
Approaching the back end of a 10 game road trip the Sox have been hot of late. The Boston club is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games and has closed the gap to 2 games behind the AL East leading Yankees. Despite the loss of All Star 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia to the short term DL list, the Sox have kept things rolling in main part due to their uber efficient starting rotation.
In comparison to their bitter rivals the Yankees have cooled somewhat of late after a searing start to the season. The New York club is 11-13 SU in their last 24 outings. The Yankees will be hoping that home cooking will be the perfect recipe to down the Red Sox this week. Posting a 17-8 SU record in Yankee stadium this season this young ball club have begun to turn their home patch into a fortress this year.
The return of closer Aroldis Chapman from his one season with the Cubs, coupled with the consistent set up play of reliever Dellin Betances has helped revitalise the Yankee bullpen this year. Past seasons have vividly displayed the importance of a solid core of relievers with the Royals 2015 World Series team a classic example. Yankees manager Joe Girardi a former catcher himself will be keeping his fingers crossed that his key relievers can stay healthy as the All Star break approaches.
Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (5-3, 4.24 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Masahiro Tanaka (5-5, 6.34)
Southpaw Drew Pomeranz to the immense relief of all Red Sox fans has been ripping it up of late. The former Padres pitcher has won his last two starts dominating the lineups of the Rangers and White Sox in the process. Pomeranz is a respectable 1-1 with a 2.52 ERA in his five previous career starts vs tonight’s opponents.
In a tale of two pitchers it is Masahiro Tanaka that is trending south of late. Tanaka got bullied last Wednesday in Baltimore giving up 7 runs and 9 hits in a disappointing loss for the Yanks. Such a performance has been a microcosm of the Japanese pitchers season, with his inconsistent performances of late leading to much speculation of a lingering injury.
Tanaka has however gone well vs the Red Sox of late, most notably pitching a 3 hitter against the Boston club back in April. Tanaka boasts a decent 6-2 career record vs the Sox with a 3.52 ERA to boot.
After falling into a 2-27 slump at the plate, Red Sox outstanding left fielder Andrew Benintendi let loose on the Orioles last Sunday going 3 for 4 with 2 Home runs in a 7-3 Boston win. An in form Benintendi can supplement a powerful batting order comprising amongst others Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez. Indeed the latter of these three has a .500 average at the plate this season against New York.
There are few superlatives that can be thrown at Aaron Judge this season without regurgitating what has already been said. The Yankees star rookie is very much the future and the present for the New York club. Built like an NFL linebacker but with breakneck speed to boot, the Outfielder has been on a tear this year and will hope to be a nuisance to the Red Sox for years to come. Judge is in the midst of an 8 game hitting streak of late, and on the season has 18 Home Runs with 41 RBI’s in the process.
NOTABLE BETTING TRENDS
- Red Sox are 5-1 SU in Pomeranz’s last 6 starts vs. a team with a winning record
- Red Sox are 2-5 SU in Pomeranz’s last 7 road starts.
- Yankees are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Yankees are 0-4 SU in Tanaka’s last 4 starts.
- Under is 8-3 in Red Sox last 11 overall.
- Under is 9-2 in Pomeranzs last 11 road starts.
- Under is 5-1 in Yankees last 6 home games.
- Under is 5-1 in Yankees last 6 games following an off day.
- Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between the teams.
Washington Nationals (36-20) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (35-24)
Start Time: 03:10 BST
Revenge is very much on the minds of the Nationals this week. Dumped out of last years playoffs by the Dodgers, the streaking Washington club will look to serve up some overdue payback in LA this week. The Nationals are the in form team in baseball right now having won 11 of their last 14, and posting a formidable 6-1 SU record on their current road trip away from DC. Washington’s Offense leads the major leagues in almost every category this season and manager Dusty Baker is getting endless supply from his bats. The Nats currently boast a 10.5 game lead in the NL East and look a lock for the playoffs even in June.
Whilst a 35-24 record is hardly one to be sniffed at , the Dodgers have been struggling of late losing 4 of their last 6. In comparison to tonight’s opponents the Dodgers are locked in a 3 way divisional battle against the resurgent Rockies and a powerful Diamondbacks outfit. Whilst the Nationals have been the talk of the league in recent times , the Dodgers have some hot bats of their own. Enigmatic Yasiel Puig is hitting .368 over the last week and Chris Taylor is 7 for his last 23 with four RBI’s. However, the Nationals hope that cold spells from Cody Bellinger, batting .162 over his last 10 games, and Corey Seager, hitting .174 since May 21, continue for the Dodgers.
Nationals RH Max Scherzer (6-3, 2.56 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 3.38)
Nationals ace Max Scherzer has been lights out in his past two starts dominating the Giants and the Padres. Scherzer posted a 1.02 ERA in just under 18 innings work in those two games striking out 24 in the process. A word of caution however, ‘Mad Max’ has struggled against the Dodgers in recent times posting a 2-4 career record against the LA club with a 3.29 ERA in the process.
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts once again gives the ball to Brandon McCarthy tonight hoping to level the series. McCarthy cried off in the 4th inning in his last time at the mound against St Louis. Despite giving up 2 early runs to the Cards , a blistered finger was the reason for this early exit. The Colorado native clearly loves playing on his home mound, and has gone 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts covering 28 innings at Dodger Stadium this season.
Washington’s Anthony Rendon has been lightning hot at the plate in recent times. Rendon went 2-3 with a solo Home Run last night in LA to help the Nats to yet another win. The 3rd baseman is averaging .383 , 6 homers and 13 RBI’s in his last dozen games.
There are so many weapons on this Nats team but one that appears to slip under the radar is Ryan Zimmerman. Playing at the opposite end of the diamond to the aforementioned Rendon, Zimmerman has posted some gaudy numbers this year. He has led the DC club with 16 home runs and averaging a formidable .372 in the process, and has duly put himself at the forefront of the All Stars discussion for his position.
Minus slugging 3rd baseman Justin Turner, a timely return to form for star shortstop Corey is much needed for the Dodgers right now. Seager seems to have dragged himself out of the slump last night grabbing 3 hits against the Nats starter Gio Gonzalez. In just his second full season with the Dodgers it is perhaps unfair to burden the 23 year old with such pressure, but the fact remains that Seager has the look of a future hall of famer and will be crucial to the Dodgers contending later in the year.
NOTABLE BETTING TRENDS
- Nationals are 4-1 SU in Scherzers’ last 5 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Nationals are 21-7 SU in Scherzer’s last 28 road starts.
- Dodgers are 12-2 SU in McCarthy’s last 14 home starts.
- Under is 15-5-1 in Scherzer’s last 21 starts with 5 days of rest.
- Under is 5-1 in Dodgers last 6 overall.
- Under is 5-2-1 in McCarthy’s last 8 starts overall.
UMPIRE TRENDS – ANGEL HERNANDEZ
- Under is 20-7-3 in Hernandez’s last 30 games behind home plate vs. Washington.
- Under is 16-7-1 in Hernandez’s last 24 games behind home plate vs. Los Angeles.
- Dodgers are 20-8 in their last 28 games with Hernandez behind home plate.