Yankees vs. Red Sox American League Wild Card Game Best Bets

Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees. Jim Rogash/Getty Images/AFP
Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees. Jim Rogash/Getty Images/AFP

Classic rivals clash on Tuesday for the right to face the Rays in the first round of the postseason. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 

American League Wild Card Game

Tuesday, October 05, 2021 – 08:08 PM EDT at Fenway Park

I have to be honest, to me neither team deserves to be in the postseason and this is coming from a Yankees fan. The Yankees put together the following records at differents points of their rollercoaster season:


The Red Sox, on the other hand, were recently swept by the Yankees in three games at Fenway Park, lost two out of three against the weak Orioles and barely beat the Nationals on Sunday to secure a three-game sweep in Washington and the right to host the Yankees in this crucial game.

The Yankees are going with Gerrit Cole (2.92 FIP), while the Red Sox respond with Nathan Eovaldi (2.79 FIP). The Yankees went 16-14 in Cole’s 30 starts, dropping a massive 12.3 units and the Red Sox were up 2.6 units on a 19-13 record in Eovaldi’s 32 starts.

Gerrit Cole (16-8, 3.23 ERA, 1.06 WHIP), the first Yankee pitcher to lead the American League in wins since CC Sabathia in 2010, went just 3-2 with a 5.13 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in his last six starts. Cole gave up five earned runs on nine hits (two home runs) with six strikeouts and zero walks over six innings to get a no-decision in a 6-5 loss against the Blue Jays last Wednesday and he went 2 -2 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP and a complete game in four starts against them this season. The right-hander allowed three earned runs on five hits (one home run) with six strikeouts and three walks over six innings in an 8-3 win in his last start against them on September 24th.

Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) threw six scoreless innings of four-hit ball with seven strikeouts and one walk in a 6-0 win against the Orioles on Wednesday. Eovaldi went 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in his last six starts and 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in six starts against the Yankees this season. The right-hander lost the September 24th game against Cole and the Yankees that we mentioned above when he gave up seven earned runs on seven hits (one home run) with zero strikeouts and two walks over just 2 2/3 innings.


Yankees vs. Red Sox in the Postseason:

  • 1999 ALCS Yankees won the series 4-1
  • 2003 ALCS Yankees won the series 4-3
  • 2004 ALCS Red Sox won the series 4-3
  • 2018 ALDS Red Sox won the series 3-1

The Yankees opened at -115 at BetMGM, but over at FiveThirtyEight, they already have them at -113 based on our calculations (they suggest the Yankees will win this game 53 percent of the time). The projections say there isn’t much value on this moneyline but the Under might be the way to go, with the Yankees missing Luke Voit (.764 OPS), DJ LeMahieu (.711 OPS) and possibly Gio Urshela (.720 OPS).

Tuesday’s weather report calls for overcast and temperatures in the low-60s at game time with 86 percent humidity and the 7 mph winds are expected to come blowing in from center field. ESPN’s park factors for 2021 have Fenway ranked No. 6 overall for run creation at 1.235, and 17th in home runs at 1.005.

The Under is 16-16 in Eovaldi’s 32 starts and 16-13-1 in Cole’s 30 starts. The Yankees rank No. 18 in hitting value (3.1 WAR) in the last 30 days according to FanGraphs and No. 15 in Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) at .318 and in case Cole and/or Eovaldi have short outings, both teams have decent pitching value in the last 30 days. The Red Sox rank No. 7 (3.3 WAR) and the Yankees No. 13 (2.4 WAR). That’s good enough for us.

MLB Pick: Under 8.5 (-105) at DraftKings

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