It looks to be an epic American League wild-card game on Tuesday as the bitter rival New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox square off from Fenway Park. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated books?
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 – 08:00 PM EDT at Fenway Park
SPN has the telecast of the American League wild-card game on Tuesday night between the Yankees and Red Sox from Fenway Park, and it should draw huge ratings and massive betting action at BMR’s top-rated books. It’s only the fourth all-time postseason meeting between the bitter rivals. They last met in the 2018 AL Division Series and the Sox won in four on the way to winning the franchise’s most recent World Series.
Boston and New York have never met in a winner-take-all wild-card game, however. Rather amazingly, this is the Red Sox’s first time in it. The Yankees were in the 2020 wild-card series – it was a series last year as opposed to a single game with the expanded playoffs in the pandemic – and beat Cleveland in two games.
The Sox and Yankees both finished 92-70 but Boston gets to host this game because it won the season series 10-9. Boston was 6-4 at home vs. NYY. The wild-card winner would face the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. On the BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) MLB futures odds, the Yankees are +500 to win the pennant and the Red Sox +750.
Yankees Probable Pitcher: Gerrit Cole
New York earned a wild-card spot with Sunday’s thrilling 1-0 win over Tampa Bay on Aaron Judge’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. The Yanks were without former AL batting champion and infielder DJ LeMahieu, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a hip injury. He’s obviously not playing in this game and won’t be back until the ALCS at the earliest if the Yankees get that far. LeMahieu had a bit of a down season by his standards, batting .268 with 10 homers and 57 RBIs.
Fellow infielder Gio Urshela sustained a bruised thigh in Sunday's win over the Rays and was removed from the game in the top of the ninth inning but expects to be good for Tuesday. He finished the season batting .267 with 14 HRs and 49 RBIs.
Gerrit Cole is the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history and its games like this are why the Yankees shelled out $324 million to the right-hander in December 2019. Cole (16-8, 3.23) probably will finish second in the AL Cy Young race to Toronto’s Robbie Ray. Cole might have won it if he didn’t struggle in his regular-season finale, knocked around for five runs in six innings of a no-decision in Toronto.
Cole was 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA in four starts this year against Boston with 31 strikeouts in 22 innings. The Sox hit a collective .279 off him. He last faced them on Sept. 24 in Boston and allowed three runs over six innings in a victory. Sox All-Star Rafael Devers is a 4-for-19 career off Cole with three homers and eight RBIs.
JD Martinez is 6-for-25 with two homers and 12 strikeouts. In his playoff career with the Pirates, Astros, and Yankees, Cole is 8-4 in 13 starts with a 2.68 ERA. New York is 8-0 on MLB picks in its past eight following an off day.
Red Sox Probable Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi
Boston looked like it might have to play a one-game tiebreaker for a wild-card spot for a while on Sunday as the Sox were down 5-1 entering the sixth inning at Washington. However, they would win 7-5 thanks to two a two-run homer from Rafael Devers in the top of the ninth – his second homer of the game (38 on the season) and fourth hit.
The Sox played it like a postseason game, using starter Eduardo Rodriguez for an inning of relief in the eighth and fellow starter Nick Pivetta to close it out. Stud reliever Garrett Whitlock was reinstated from the 10-day injured list before the game and pitched the seventh inning.
Some potentially horrible news, though, in that All-Star DH JD Martinez suffered a fluke ankle injury while running out to right field Sunday – he tripped over second base heading to his position in the bottom of the fifth inning. Martinez was only playing the field because there was no DH in the NL park. He’s in question for Tuesday, although that there’s a DH helps his chances. Martinez finished the regular season with 28 homers and 99 RBIs, as well as an AL-leading 42 doubles
Obviously, a nice advantage that Boston gets to host this game. At home this year, the Sox led the majors in runs per game (5.8), AVG (.281), OBP (.350), and OPS (.831). They finished 52-29 at Fenway and were 39-21 (.650) in their last 60 home games.
It’s right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75) on the mound. He last pitched Wednesday in Baltimore and shut out the Orioles on four hits over six with seven Ks. Eovaldi faced the Yankees six times this year and was 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA. New York batters hit a collective .279 off him. Aaron Judge is 8-for-20 career off him with a homer. Giancarlo Stanton is 7-for-27 with two homers. Anthony Rizzo is 5-for-9 with three doubles.
Eovaldi has pitched a total of 22.1 playoffs innings in his career, all in 2018 with Boston. He was 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA. The Red Sox are 8-1 on the MLB odds in their past nine playoff games as an underdog. Wish I knew if Martinez was able to play … I lean the Yankees slightly but am going to take the online on Boston because this very likely will be a one-run game in either direction.
*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.