Red Sox vs. Yankees Odds
Friday, August 18
7:05 p.m. ET
|Red Sox Odds|
-112 / -108
-112 / -108
It’s Yankees-Red Sox on Friday night, and even though both teams aren’t at peak YANKEE and RED SOX, this is still one of the leagues best rivalries.
As noted, neither team is in peak form this season, and it’s only gotten worse of late. The Yankees just dipped below .500 at the latest point in a season since 1995 (that’s an insane stat), while the Red Sox just lost two out of three to the Nationals, of all teams, and now sit 11.0 games back in the division and 3.5 back in the Wild Card race.
On Friday, each team sends a young righty to the mound, with varying levels of promise. The Red Sox turn to Brayan Bello, while the Yankees counter with Jhony Brito. Both pitchers have posted promising numbers, but also question marks aplenty, so let’s dig in to see where the value lies.
Bello is a name that has popped up on breakout lists all season, but his most recent stretch of starts has been his roughest of the year. In his first 14 starts, Bello had an impressive 3.04 ERA and 3.75 FIP. Since then (which happens to be centered around the All-Star break), his numbers have dropped precipitously to 5.67 ERA and 6.11 FIP.
The biggest issue, by far, has been the longball. He has given up 10 homers in his last 40.3 innings, after giving up just seven in his first 73.0 innings of the season. Combine the fact that his fastball velocity has consistently trended down for the entire season, plus he was already due for some regression on his initial fast start, and we get a pitcher ripe to fade.
On the offensive side of things, the Sox are in their slightly better split but have not been performing as well of late, with a wRC+ of 94 the past month. However, they’ve had some success against Brito’s best pitch (more on that in a second), and the weather looks like it will be helping offense on Friday night.
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For the Yankees, they have been a touch better on offense in recent weeks, partly thanks to the return of Aaron Judge to the lineup. However, this is still a middle of the road offense at best (100 wRC+ last 14 days).
As such, they will need Brito to perform well to pick up a game against their rivals. Brito has not started in either of his last two appearances, but he looked strong in his most recent relief appearance, going five innings against the Marlins and allowing just one run on six strikeouts and no walks. However, as a starter, Brito has left plenty to be desired. He has a 1.50 ERA as a reliever, but a 5.54 ERA as a starter.
As for profile, Brito is a location-forward pitcher whose slider is by far his best pitch by Stuff+. The good news is that that doesn’t seem lost on the Yankees, as he has seen his slider usage increase steadily throughout the season.
Red Sox vs. Yankees
Betting Pick & Prediction
This is a bit of a weird Sox-Yanks game. It doesn’t feature star-studded rosters–in fact, it features the two teams at the bottom of the AL East. Neither pitcher is going to be pumping gas, and the buzz certainly isn’t what it typically is when these two teams meet up.
It’s also a little bit of a weird betting game. The line didn’t release until almost noon ET because of a late starter announcement for the Yankees, and I didn’t see any immediate value on any side or total.
As such, we’re going into the weeds a bit with this pick. Bello has a very hittable slider, a pitch he throws over a third of the time, but that has a -10.9 run value, per FanGraphs. Guess who eats up righty sliders? Aaron Judge.
Yes, it is one of the most square picks ever, but Aaron Judge against the Sox, at Yankee Stadium with the wind blowing out, facing a pitcher with a very hittable slide who is struggling with the long ball…
Getting +290 for Judge to homer is too good to turn down.
Pick: Aaron Judge (NYY) to Hit a Home Run
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