MLB Odds: Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway

By: Jimmy Sirody | Thursday, September 30, 2010
Andy Pettitte

Veteran lefty Andy Pettitte will open the series for New York on Friday at Fenway.

Manager Joe Girardi insists he wants his New York Yankees to win the American League East and reap the rewards of home field advantage in the playoffs. However the defending champs apparently aren’t getting the message.

The Yankees fly to Fenway on Friday night to close out the regular season with three games against the Boston Red Sox, who have been relegated to the role of spoiler. They will begin the series either one-game behind the Tampa Bay Rays or tied, depending on how the Rays fared Thursday night in Kansas City.

New York has lost its edge, dropping six of its last eight, including two of three at Toronto to start the final road trip of the season. Fortunately, the Rays are in the midst of another power outage, having lost three of four to bottom feeders Seattle and Baltimore while scoring just seven runs.

Andy Pettitte (11-3, 3.17) gets the ball in Friday’s series opener, in what could be his most important start of the season.

Pettitte must return to help C.C. Sabathia in the rotation for the Yankees to repeat as champs. The veteran southpaw was pushed back to Friday, ostensibly because of the playoff-clinching win at Toronto.

However, according to a report in the New York Daily News, Pettitte’s back stiffened up in his last start against Boston, when he exited after 3 1/3 innings, but not before being tagged for seven runs (six earned).

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threw his bullpen session Wednesday and said he would have no problem taking the ball against the Sox.

Boston returns home after completing a seven-game trip at Chicago that began when the Sox took two of three from the Yankees in the Bronx.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-6, 4.72) pitches on the final Friday in Fenway. He bounced back from a protracted slump to stymie New York in his last outing, allowing two runs and four hits in eight innings while whiffing seven and walking one in a no-decision.

The Yankees appear to have the edge in the opener, at least on paper.

New York has won seven of Pettitte’s last eight starts following an outing of less than four innings in his last appearance. The Yankees have also cashed the MLB money line seven of eight when the left-hander has had six days rest.

Boston has dropped nine of its last 13 at home, four of its last five against New York at Fenway and six straight versus southpaws in Beantown.

The Red Sox are also 0-4 in Matsuzaka’s last four starts versus the Yankees.

The ‘over’ is 7-3-2 in the past dozen duels in Boston.

New York has zipped ‘over’ at a 15-4-2 clip following an off day. The Sox have jumped the number in nine of 10 games with Matsuzaka on the hill against winning teams.

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