BOSTON RED SOX (58-61)
at NEW YORK YANKEES (70-48)
First pitch: Friday, 7:05 p.m. EDT
Line: New York -140, Boston +130, Total: 9˝
The Yankees, winners in seven of their past nine games, will host archrival Boston for a three-game set beginning Friday night.
Southpaw Franklin Morales takes the mound for Boston in this one, a rare bright spot in the Red Sox rotation. With a 3.35 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in seven starts, in which he is 3-2 and the team is 4-3, he has found his groove lately with a 2-1 record, 2.20 ERA and 1.04 WHIP his past three times out. In those three starts, he has gone 16.1 innings and allowed just seven hits with 15 K’s, though his control has been suspect with 10 walks in that span. He faces Phil Hughes, who has a 4.44 ERA and 1.31 WHIP this year. But he has been battered lately—lasting just 8.1 innings over his past two starts, allowing 11 earned runs on 17 hits. And Boston has owned him historically, saddling Hughes with a 6.66 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 10 starts in this rivalry. Considering Boston is 14-7 in Yankee Stadium over the past three seasons, go for the money by taking significant underdog BOSTON to win this one.
This two-star FoxSheets trend also favors the Red Sox:
BOSTON is 44-25 (63.8%, +19.5 Units) against the money line in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons. The average score was BOSTON 4.8, OPPONENT 3.6 - (Rating = 2*).
Despite avoiding a sweep Thursday night against the Orioles, the Boston has struggled lately with a 3-6 record in its past nine games. Though the Red Sox are just 3-6 against the Yankees this season, they are 2-1 in the Bronx. AL East foes have been a problem for Boston this year though, with the Sox posting a 19-26 division record (.422). Morales has started once versus New York in his career, which occurred on July 7 when he allowed four home runs and six runs in just 3.1 innings. But that loss came at Fenway Park and Morales has been much better on the road this season, sporting a 1.86 ERA in 16 appearances (12 relief outings, four starts). Morales averages just 5.4 innings per start, so Boston’s top-notch bullpen will have to come to play. Red Sox relievers have a 3.34 ERA in 2012, a figure that improves to a 2.60 ERA on the road. Overall, Boston is better on the road where it has a 29-27 (.518) record this year.
The Yankees have been a dominant home team this year, winning 37 of their 60 games at Yankee Stadium (.617). Likewise, Hughes is much better at home where he has a 3.74 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, giving him an 8-3 record (team is 9-3). He is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his past five starts in the Bronx. He averages 5.9 innings per start overall and 6.2 at home, leaving a few innings to the New York bullpen that has a 3.33 ERA and 37 saves in 46 chances (80%) in 2012. But the Yankees lost Thursday without Robinson Cano in the starting lineup (back). If he cannot play again, that could have a major impact on this game.