Yankees vs. Red Sox MLB Picks: Smoke And Mirrors

profile image of Jason.Lake
063_1235436421-aspect-ratio-16-9
Despite the weather reports (and the hideous yellow uniforms) the Rex Sox look like the right pick at home on Friday. Kathryn Riley/Getty Images/AFP

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are both over-valued, but someone has to go according to Friday’s MLB odds– or do they?

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Friday, September 24, 2021 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park

This is exactly what you want when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox face each other in September. Both Wild Card berths in the American League are up for grabs.

The Red Sox (88-65, plus-8.10 betting units) hold down the first spot at press time, two games ahead of the Yankees (86-67, minus-4.89 units), with the Toronto Blue Jays in hot pursuit and other teams lurking on the periphery.

In the Hunt

Friday’s series opener at Fenway will be more than just a rivalry game on the MLB board – it will change the landscape for everyone still in the hunt.

The Yankees need this win more, of course, and it looks like they’ll have a slight advantage with Gerrit Cole (2.76 FIP) taking the mound opposite Nathan Eovaldi (2.72 FIP).

FiveThirtyEight rates Cole six Elo points higher than Eovaldi, but with Boston’s superior batting order, this game works out to a coin flip according to Nate Silver’s projections.

BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) opened the Red Sox as +108 home dogs, so that looks like the right MLB pick, although a small wager would be prudent at these odds.

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

If there were any justice in baseball, only the Red Sox would make it to the postseason out of these two. Their plus-84 run differential is third in the AL East, well behind Toronto and the Tampa Bay Rays; even after rattling off seven straight victories, Boston’s Pythagorean record of 85-68 is three wins short of their actual record.

The Yankees (plus-34) “should” be 80-73 right now, and it “should” be the Oakland Athletics (plus-61) trying to overtake the Sox for a playoff berth. That’s if you don’t believe in the power of clutch performance.

The Red Sox are 26-18 in games decided by one run, and 10-5 in extra innings; the Yankees are 27-18 and 10-8 respectively. Any team in these situations can be expected to go roughly .500 in the long run.

Then again, you have to give credit to the bullpens for getting the job done in these high-leverage games, and this matchup features two of the best in baseball. New York relievers rank third overall at FanGraphs with 6.8 WAR, three spots ahead of Boston at 5.0 WAR.

The Pick

Given the quality pitching on both sides, and how poorly the Yankees have hit this year (18.1 WAR, No. 16 overall), the classic underdog-Under parlay may be worth a look here.

There’s a 9-run total at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) with the vig priced at –105, and Cole has the under at 16-11-1, while Eovaldi is a more neutral commodity at 15-14-1. But we’re content to stick with the Red Sox for a fun-sized bet.

It’s just the right thing to do, even with those brief rain showers in the forecast for Friday night.

MLB Pick: Red Sox ML (+108) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

*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.