Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees Pick – Friday May 31st

by | May 31, 2019 | mlb

Boston Red Sox (29-27) at New York Yankees (36-19)
When: 7 p.m., Friday, May 31, 2019
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York

Opening Line: BOS +108/NYY -122 (Mybookie)
Runline: Sox +1.5/Yanks -1.5
Total: 9.5
Starting Pitchers: Chris Sale (1-6, 4.19 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) vs. J.A. Happ (4-3, 5.09 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)

Close, but no Sale

Has there been a pitcher who’s been more unlucky than Chris Sale this season? At this point, the Red Sox starter has to be wondering what in the world he has to do in order to get a win. In his past seven starts, he’s allowed no more than five hits, and he only did that one time. Every other outing has been either three or four hits, and he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game since April 16, his last visit to Yankee Stadium.

What have the Red Sox done with all of those solid starts? Squandered almost every one of them. Sale has been so unlucky that he pitched a 14-strikeout game and a 17-strikeout game in consecutive starts — and didn’t get a win on either occasion. In fact, the Red Sox somehow found a way to lose the 17-strikeout game to Colorado by a 5-4 count. He’s also had a start against Oakland where he pitched a three-hitter and made one mistake, giving up a solo home run and nothing else in six solid innings. That was the only run of the game in a 1-0 defeat. Sale remains an outstanding pitcher, but he has been the definition of snakebit this year.

At the Happ

When J.A. Happ is on, things usually go well for the Yankees. Happ doesn’t have the same problems Sale does because the Yankees’ offense keeps bailing him out when things don’t go particularly well. Case in point, 11 days ago in Baltimore, Happ got bombed for six runs on nine hits in just 3.2 innings, including two big flies to the Maryland Birds. The Bronx Bombers bailed him out in a 10-7 victory, marking the seventh time in eight games that New York has won a game where Happ has pitched.

See Zank’s take on this game before Postponed yesterday!

However, that doesn’t mean the problems he’s faced aren’t real. The Yankees weren’t able to bail him out against the Twins or the White Sox, and both of those games went into the loss column at home. Happ has struggled to keep the ball in the park at times, giving up 12 home runs this season in 10 appearances. He’s actually been a better pitcher away from Yankee Stadium, as he’s allowed at least one ball to reach the Bleacher Creatures in four of his five starts in the Bronx this season. That includes a game against Boston earlier this year, when he surrendered two big flies to the BoSox, but did enough the rest of the way to avoid the defeat. Eventually, Happ’s luck will run out, but for now, he’s done enough to give his team a chance.

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Streaking and Slumping

The Yankees are coming in hot right now, much as they have for the past month of the season. New York hasn’t lost a series since dropping a two-game set at Arizona on May 1. Since that game, the Yankees are 19-6 and have opened up some distance between themselves and their closest challengers. Boston is trying desperately to get back in the race, but has found the going tough with Tampa Bay right there with the Yankees. The Red Sox sit 7.5 back of the Yankees, and they cannot afford to lose any more ground to the Yankees and the Rays. However, Boston did what it couldn’t afford to do by dropping two in Houston and losing two at home to Cleveland. They have to get this turned around and take at least two of three in the Bronx to feel like they have any momentum.

The Historicals

Is there anything that even needs to be said here? The Red Sox and Yankees boast the most historic rivalry in baseball, and that’s common knowledge to anyone with even a passing interest in the sport. This marks the third meeting of the year between the ancient Northeastern rivals, with the Yankees winning the first two games by scores of 8-0 and 5-3.

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Betting Trends

  • The Red Sox are 5-1 in their past six against the AL East.
  • The Red Sox are 0-6 in Sale’s past six starts in a series opener.
  • The Yankees are 12-2 in their past 14 Friday games.
  • The Yankees are 4-0 in Happ’s past four starts against the AL East.
  • The under is 5-0 in Sale’s past five road starts.
  • The under is 7-1-1 in the Yankees’ past nine home games.

Weather Report

  • Showers in the forecast in NY, with the temps expected to be around 63 degrees.

Dan’s pick

The Yankees are the hot team, but Sale is going to bust out of this slump sooner or later, and he’s coming in ticked off about his performance the last time he pitched in New York. I’m worried that the Boston lineup won’t score enough runs for him, but against Happ, they should put up runs. Realistically, this game could easily get wrecked by the Boston bullpen, but Sale is the better pitcher and the one I feel more comfortable trusting. Even though the Yankees are much hotter, the pitching matchup favors the Red Sox here. I’ll go with Sale to get a win.

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