The landscape at the top of the baseball divisions is shifting around a little bit. The Minnesota Twins have closed the gap on the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central during the midst of a six-game winning streak. While the St. Louis Cardinals have sparked some life back into them during their seven-game winning streak, the Milwaukee Brewers have trended in the opposite direction, losing their last six games – the Chicago Cubs currently hold a 1.0 game lead over the Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have won nine of their last 10 games, opening up a 4.5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East.
The Yankees have been a tough team to figure out of late – especially for betting purposes. They’re hard to track. They lost three of four coming out of the All-Star break – continuing their pre-All-Star struggles. However, they bolstered their lineup with several trades prior to the trade deadline and caught some momentum. They won nine of 11 to wrap up the month of July. The month of August has been a different story, though. They started with four straight losses and are just 4-7 in their last 11 games. That’s allowed the Red Sox to open up a buffer in the AL East. The good news is they still hold a 2.5-game lead in the Wild Card race but the Los Angeles Angels and Twins are charging hard. Both teams have won seven of their last 10 games.
In this Sunday Night Baseball betting preview, two historic franchises are pitted against one another in a race for the division crown. It’s an important contest as the Yankees look to close the gap a little bit but they’ll have to do it against the Red Sox ace, Chris Sale.
Date – Sunday August 13th, 2017
Time – 8:00PM EST
Line – Red Sox -180
Why The Red Sox Might Win
The Red Sox couldn’t have asked for anyone better on the mound tonight than their ace, Chris Sale. Since Sale signed with the Red Sox for the 2017 season, he has gone 14–4 with a 2.57 ERA, 1.98 FIP, 0.88 WHIP, and 12.8 K/9 while holding opponents to a measly .193/.235/.310 slash line. In Sale’s two starts against the Yankees this season, he’s lost a game and received a no-decision on the other while pitching well in both starts – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 0 BB, and 10 K in a loss and 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 13 K in a no-decision. Maybe the third time around will be the charm? As the clear-cut AL Cy Young favorite, Sale should be able to build upon his previous two solid starts against the Yankees in tonight’s matchup.
Why The Yankees Might Win
The Yankees are sending out rookie Jordan Montgomery to pitch in tonight’s game and he’s been quite reliable so far this season. Montgomery has compiled a 7–6 record to go along with a 4.05 ERA, 3.95 FIP, and 1.24 WHIP while allowing opponents to slash .243/.299/.402. In Montgomery’s only start against the Red Sox this year, he lasted just four innings while allowing six hits, three runs, three walks, and recording three strikeouts. Going against a Cy Young favorite in a pivotal game is always nerve-wracking but if Montgomery can somehow limit the Red Sox batters while the Yankees get a few runs on board against Sale, this could turn out into a close game, and hopefully fall in the Yankees’ favor.
While Sale has been his same old self in the last month, going 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and 13.2 K/9 while holding opponents to a .193/.235/.310 slash line, Montgomery has been the opposite – 1-2 record with a 5.31 ERA and 1.08 WHIP while allowing opponents to slash .231/.268/.372. While Chase Headley and Aaron Hicks have had some success against Sale (.300/.333/.650 with 2 HR in 20 AB and .375/.375/.438 in 16 AB), Sale has dominated these other Yankees: Brett Gardner – .154/.313/.154 with 6 K in 13 AB; Jacoby Ellsbury – .000/.100/.000 with 5 K in 10 AB; Gary Sanchez – .125/.125/.250 with 3 K in 8 AB; and Aaron Judge – .000/.167/.000 with 4 K in 5 AB. It’s evident that the Cy Young Award is Sale’s to lose and he should continue his spectacular season by getting the win against the Yankees.
Pick: Red Sox -180
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