Yankees’ Bullpen Gives New York a Betting Boost Against the Red Sox

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Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees runs past Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

The Boston Red Sox are steaming up the MLB odds board for Friday’s matchup with the New York Yankees. Will their bullpen betray them?

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Friday, August 12, 2022 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park

It would make perfect sense to me if the sharps wanted to bet the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees this Friday. The Yankees (71-41, +1.75 betting units) hit the top ages ago; now that the injury bug has bitten them again, New York has dropped seven of their last nine heading into Fenway.

But then you have the Red Sox, who are 54-58 (-6.14 units) at press time, and the only losing team in the American League East after dropping six of their first seven games following this year’s trade deadline.

Should we put either of these teams in our MLB picks? That depends in part on whether the betting odds keep moving.

The Red Sox did indeed get the bulk of the early (and presumably sharp) action at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), stepping up from +117 to +107 since the open. But at that price, we’re not keen on taking either side – at least not on the moneyline.

What Happened to the Yankees?

Injuries – lots of them. Here’s a partial list of the walking wounded:

  • 3B/DH Matt Carpenter (foot)
  • OF Giancarlo Stanton (Achilles)
  • SP Luis Severino (back)
  • RP Michael King (elbow)

Carpenter (1.226 OPS in 43 games) is the most recent addition to the list, after fouling a ball off his left foot during Monday’s 9-4 win over the Seattle Mariners. He’s on crutches now but apparently won’t need surgery, hence Carpenter should be back in about 6-8 weeks.

Adding Injuries

These injuries are bad enough, but the Yankees made it worse at the deadline – at least in the short term. Trading for injured OF Harrison Bader (heel) was a calculated gamble with the playoffs in mind; trading for OF Andrew Benintendi (.360 OPS in seven games) presented some risks, too, but not like this. Not like this.

Anyway, now that the Yankees have been knocked down a peg, FiveThirtyEight only have them winning Friday’s matchup 52 percent of the time. That works out to -108 using BMR's convenient Odds Converter calculator, so yes, the sharps did well to grab Boston at +117. Now? Not so much.

Who’s Pitching for the Red Sox?

Here’s another reason the sharps may have jumped on Boston: Nathan Eovaldi.

The results haven’t been there for the Red Sox at 8-9 and minus-2.02 units in his 17 starts (Over 9-7-1), but Eovaldi’s 3.28 xFIP thus far is the lowest of his career, including last year (3.48 xFIP) when he made the All-Star Game for the first time.

Eovaldi definitely has more going on than his opposite number in this matchup. Domingo German (4.77 xFIP) has somehow managed to get worse every year since he joined the big leagues in 2017.

Trending in Opposite directions

Some of it is off-field stuff; some of it is his right shoulder, which delayed his 2022 debut until late July. German has dropped three of his first four starts (Under 2-1-1) this year for a loss of 2.42 units. Sad.

At least the Yankees have a pretty good bullpen to support German. They rank sixth on the WAR charts at FanGraphs, and the early results from deadline pick-ups Lou Trivino and Scott Effross (one hit combined in 2.1 innings) have been promising.

Boston’s No. 21-ranked bullpen isn’t nearly as stout, and they’re at the bottom of the WAR charts when you narrow it to the past 30 days.

What About the Total?

That’s a tight line, too. There’s a 9.5-run total at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) as we go to press, with each side priced at -110. With partly cloudy weather conditions expected over Fenway, we don’t see a lot of wiggle room for either the Over or the Under.

There’s still one more option for our mandatory straight bet. The MLB odds at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) have the Yankees at -1.5 (+135) on the run line.

Given how poor Boston’s bullpen is, and how they have to play this game on zero days of rest after hosting the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, this might be the right MLB pick.

The Pick

Rest matters. FiveThirtyEight says it’s only worth 2.3 Elo points to the Yankees in this contest, a mere pittance – but it’s precisely the bullpen use we’re more interested in.

The Red Sox gave starter Josh Winckowski the hook Thursday after 5.2 strong innings, so even if the Yankees had to make the long trip back from Seattle, their relievers should be in much better shape Friday night. Bet accordingly.

MLB Pick: Yankees -1.5 (+135) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Yankees -1.5 (+135)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.