The two best teams in baseball meet Wednesday night in the Bronx as the New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox. It’ll be the second game of a three-game series, with the Yankees winning Tuesday to give the two teams identical 25-10 records. The New York Yankees are -170 favorites on Wednesday.
After a sluggish start to the season, the Yankees are now the hottest team in baseball. They are yet to lose in the month of May, winning all seven games and 16 of their last 17 overall. Tuesday’s win also evened up the season series between these teams at two games each after the Red Sox took two of three at Fenway the second week in April.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, have cooled off a little after a scorching-hot April. They came to the Bronx winners of three in a row and six of their last eight. But most of those wins came against bottom feeders like the Rangers and Royals.
David Price was originally scheduled to start Wednesday’s game. But the Red Sox announced Tuesday that he would be scratched because of numbness in his left hand. As a result, everyone moved up a day, meaning Rick Porcello will start against the Yankees on Wednesday. But that may not be bad news for Boston. In seven starts this season, Porcello is 5-0 with a 2.14 ERA, recapturing his Cy Young form of two years ago.
When Porcello faced the Yankees in April, he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits. He also has great career numbers against almost every member of the Yankees. Brett Garner is the only player on New York’s roster hitting over .200 over Porcello in his career outside of Giancarlo Stanton, who has two hits in three career at-bats against Porcello.
Of course, the Yankees have heated up offensively since Porcello last faced them. Stanton has kicked it into gear. Didi Gregorius and Aaron Judge have remained consistent all season. Plus, even some of the team’s ancillary pieces are contributing more regularly.
Bucking A Trend
On the mound for the Yankees on Wednesday will be Masahiro Tanaka. The Japanese righty has been up and down this year, winning four of his seven starts but posting an uninspired 4.39 ERA. He also got hit hard for six runs on seven hits over five innings when he faced Boston a few weeks ago.
Despite a rough outing against the Red Sox last month, Tanaka has decent career numbers against most of Boston’s hitters. Key players like Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Mitch Moreland have been more or less kept under wraps by Tanaka. However, the newest Red Sox slugger, J.D. Martinez, is 7 for 12 with three home runs in his career against Tanaka.
First Place Up For Grabs
First place in the AL East, at least for a day, is up for grabs Wednesday night. The Yankees would love to take that spot away from the Red Sox for the first time this season. However, Tanaka struggled against the Red Sox earlier this year, and Boston’s lineup is tough to keep down for nine innings. Meanwhile, Porcello has been dealing all year, and he’ll be able to cool off the Yankees for a night. Bet the Boston Red Sox as the underdog in MLB action on Wednesday.