The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees continue their three-game weekend series at Yankee Stadium with Game 2 on Saturday night in what has to be one of the greatest rivalries in sports. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast on FOX as well as the MLB Network.
Keep an eye to the sky in this one as there is a 50 percent chance of showers with temperatures in the mid-50s and a slight breeze out of the southeast.
The second series between the AL East foes got underway on Friday with the Yankees 120 home favorites behind Bartolo Colon who was facing Boston's Clay Buchholz. The Don Best odds screen had 9½ runs for the total.
Boston entered the series off back-to-back losses to Toronto, including a 9-3 pasting as a 129 road favorite on Wednesday. The loss left the Red Sox five games behind AL East leader Tampa Bay before Friday's series opener. They were 11-9 at home but just 6-11 on the road.
Pitching remains an issue with Boston. The Sox rank 12th in the American League with a 4.40 team ERA. The offense has improved somewhat since a dreadful start. They are now ranked sixth in the AL with a .256 batting average, but ninth in runs scored with 155.
Adrian Gonzalez leads the team with 29 RBI and seven home runs entering this set in the Bronx. Kevin Youkilis has 20 RBI and David Ortiz has 18.
Boston will go with Josh Beckett to start Saturday's game. He is currently 2-1 in seven starts with an ERA of 1.99 and a 0.88 WHIP. His last time out, he gave up six hits and no earned runs in seven innings of work but failed to get the decision against Minnesota.
Lifetime against the Yankees, Beckett is 11-7 with an ERA of 5.90.
New York was 4-6 in its last 10 games and also riding a two-game losing streak into this series after dropping an 11-5 decision to Kansas on Thursday night as a 197 home favorite. The loss left the Yankees a game in back of the Rays in the division. New York entered the weekend 13-8 at home.
The Yankees have had consistency issues on the mound as well, but have a more respectable team ERA of 3.71. One concern is the health of Rafael Soriano, who remains day-to-day with a sore elbow.
New York is ranked seventh in the AL in hitting with a .253 team batting average, but has done a great in turning hits into runs with a total of 181 on the year, which is second only to Kansas City. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson have provided the bulk of the production. Each had 25 RBI and had combined for 21 home runs before Friday.
C.C. Sabathia will be on the mound for New York. The left-hander will be making his ninth start of the season and is 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA. He has been bounced around a bit in his last two starts; giving up 15 hits and seven earned runs in 13 innings. Sabathia has had mixed results in the past against the Red Sox with an overall record of 6-6, but an ERA of 3.35.
Boston is 4-2 this season as an underdog. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of its last seven games and is 17-16-4 overall.
New York is 17-11 as a favorite. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of its last five games and is 15-17-3 overall.
Head-to-head, the Red Sox took two of three in Boston earlier this season with two of the games going ‘over.’ The clubs split their 18 meetings a year ago with the Red Sox 5-4 at Yankee Stadium. The total went ‘over’ in 11 of the 18 games.
New York should open as a moderate home favorite with Sabathia on the mound. Even though he has been shaky as of late, look for him to bring his best stuff in this one as the Yankees come away with the win.