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Yankees vs. Red Sox Odds
Yankees Odds: +130
Red Sox Odds: -150
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings.
Baseball’s biggest rivalry continues on Saturday on national television, as Jameson Taillon looks to stay hot against the Red Sox and Nathan Eovaldi.
While Taillon has pitched well over his last three starts, the Yankees are getting the bulk of their offense from their non-superstar names, with Aaron Judge out injured and Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu struggling mightily.
Boston, meanwhile, has surprised most of the baseball world this season. It has been led by a powerful offense and solid starting rotation. Chris Sale looks to be coming back at some point in August, which will make the Sox an even bigger force to be reckoned with.
Let’s break down Saturday’s matchup and where the advantage lies.
Did Yankees Swing & Miss on Taillon?
The Yankees took a chance on Taillon in the offseason, acquiring him from the Pirates with hopes that he could stabilize their starting rotation. It was a bold move, given Taillon had only started seven games over the previous two seasons.
It has not panned out. Taillon has a 4.60 ERA and 4.58 xFIP through 18 starts this season, and he’s averaging fewer than five innings per outing so far in 2021.
The right-hander has been slightly better of late, allowing three runs over his last three starts, during which he has thrown 18 1/3 innings for a 1.47 ERA. In those outings, he’s been better in every possible way and is allowing just a .539 OPS against.
This will be Taillon’s third start of the season against the Red Sox. He threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings last Sunday at Yankee Stadium, allowing four hits and two walks. He got the win that day, as he has in four of his last five starts.
Offensively, the Yankees have gotten some unexpected contributions since the All-Star break. Gleyber Torres (1.137 OPS entering Friday night), Gary Sanchez (1.025) and Rougned Odor were not the three hitters who Yankees fans thought they’d be relying on to make a postseason push, but here we are.
The Yankees’ lineup was unrecognizable on Friday night, going Chris Gittens, Ryan LaMarre and Greg Allen at the bottom. Brett Gardner hitting sixth when you’re trying to make up a lot of ground in the standings is a very, very bad sign.
Eovaldi Has Owned the Yanks
After being a key piece of their 2018 championship, Eovaldi looked like a potentially inauspicious re-signing in 2019. He had a 5.99 ERA and only started 12 of his 23 appearances.
Since the start of 2020, though, Eovaldi has a 3.62 ERA and 2.98 FIP, spread across nine games last season and 19 this year. He’s averaging about 5 2/3 innings per start in 2021 and has been a key piece for a Boston rotation that entered the season with plenty of question marks.
This will be the fourth time Eovaldi has faced the Yankees since the start of June, and he owns them: He has allowed three earned runs over 18 2/3 innings. Boston has gone 2-1 in those games, losing to Cole during a doubleheader last Saturday.
The Boston lineup got a boost when Jarren Duran was called up from Triple-A Worcester, and he should be in the lineup on Saturday against a right-handed starter. Entering the series, Enrique Hernandez, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez all had an OPS over .940 over the previous 30 days, while Xander Bogaerts continues to be a reliable force in the middle of the order.
Boston’s outfield has been inconsistent offensively, especially Alex Verdugo, who came into the series with a .617 OPS over the previous 30 days.
Yankees-Red Sox Pick
The Yankees’ bullpen (outside of Aroldis Chapman) is their biggest strength at the moment. Boston is in the middle of a race for the AL East with the Rays, and it has the better starting pitcher and lineup set to start on Saturday.
Eovaldi has been solid across the board this season, and while it’s reasonable to think he’s due to regress against the Yankees, I don’t see that happening against this lineup.
The Bronx Bombers are considering a big move at the trade deadline, but I don’t think Saturday afternoon will instill much confidence that they’re very close to making a championship run.
Pick: Red Sox -1.5 (+110)