After a fairly disappointing start to the season (5-5), the Yankees will look on Tuesday to get back on track. Boston, however, will be a tough task for an already struggling team. Chris Sale will be taking the mound for Boston, with Luis Severino tossing for the Yankees. Boston comes into this game -145 over New York.
Recipe for Success for the Yanks: Plate Discipline
When you think about the most glaring deficiency in the New York lineup, Giancarlo Stanton is the most obvious suspect (20 strikeouts in his first 10 games). However, the Yankees’ lineup as a whole isn’t impressing with their batting averages. Aside from Didi Gregorius (Who has shined in every offensive category), Aaron Judge is the only Yankee batting above .250.
Counting on Judge to provide the offense in Fenway could be considered a very speculative venture. Judge has struggled mightily during his career in Fenway, going 3-for-36 in his 9 appearances there so far. Regardless of how much of a difference playing in any particular stadium actually makes in terms of performance, New York’s offense must improve to have any chance of succeeding against Chris Sale. Since Sale is considered by many to be the best strikeout pitcher in baseball, the Yankee chances against Sale look pretty bleak.
Boston Must Stay the Course
Looking purely on paper, Boston is the clear favorite in this game. They have 6 players batting above .250, and four players above the .300 threshold. However, Luis Severino has been lights out so far this season, picking up 2 wins and amassing 14 strikeouts in his 2 starts so far. It will take an above-average hitting performance from Boston to best Severino, but is that too much to expect from a team who has began the season with the batting averages mentioned above?
If you are looking for one player to base your pick on for this game, I would suggest it to be Chris Sale. While Sale might not have the record to back up this acclaim, he has amassed 15 strikeouts in his 2 starts so far. When you compare this to the lackluster batting averages of the Yankees, that comparison spells trouble for the Bronx Bombers.
No Easy Task
These facts, however, don’t mean that this contest will be an easy task for Sale as he is still facing two of the best right-handed power hitters in baseball (Stanton and Judge). If Sale is able to keep his wipeout slider down in the zone, he generally is able to handle right handers well. However, when you have to face Judge and Stanton, regardless of batting average, anything can happen.
At the end of the day, one has to see that they are looking at two very different teams. On top of owning the best record in baseball, Boston is also coming of of a thrilling comeback win over Tampa Bay. Also, the Red Sox are moving into a home series in Fenway, an atmosphere very hostile to visiting teams. Every facet of this upcoming contest is an uphill battle for New York. I would predict a somewhat low scoring game, given the back to back golden performances put up by Luis Severino and the strikeout clinics that Chris Sale has been known to put on. This game could be decided by a standout hitting performance by a player on either side. Take the Favored Red Sox at -145
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