Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
|Red Sox Odds||+155 [BET NOW]|
|Yankees Odds||-182 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||10.5 (-106/-114) [BET NOW]|
|First Pitch||7:07 p.m. ET|
The Boston Red Sox enter Saturday’s matchup looking to rebound from a 5-1 loss to the Yankees on Friday night. Meanwhile, New York will attempt to deliver a win for pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in his Yankees season debut.
Tanaka sustained an offseason concussion when a ball off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton struck him in the head during a batting practice session. His return to play stimulates heightened motivation to an already-heated rivalry.
Boston will hand the ball to former Diamondback Zack Godley as the Red Sox attempt to play spoiler in Tanaka’s debut.
Red Sox Starting Pitcher, Zack Godley
After spending four seasons with the Diamondbacks, Arizona released Godley in August of 2019. He was then picked up by the Blue Jays for the remaining two months of the season before opting for free agency.
Now a member of the Red Sox, Godley provides much-needed depth and versatility as both a starter and reliever.
Godley was impressive in his appearance against the Mets on July 27. His stuff was deceptive, and he demonstrated excellent control pitching high in the strike zone. His ball sounded conspicuously different when it hit the catcher’s mitt that day.
Now, Godley draws a high-profile start against the Yankees. Having spent his last four seasons pitching in the National League, Godley is likely an unfamiliar face for most of New York’s batters. As a result, the Yankees may take several innings to figure him out.
Before I analyze a game, I try to jot down a bias and counter-bias. In a handicap you’re trying to thread the needle with information so it’s key to know both sides. This will help you find the answer to the all-important-question of what is the direction of the market and what is behind the move.
Saturday’s matchup between the Red Sox and Yankees provides a great example for this test.
The Red Sox opened as sizable underdogs around +180. They’ve since been bet down to +150. The Action Network’s Live Odds page reveals that the money percentage on the Red Sox is greater than the percentage of tickets that are being written in their favor. This generally signals that sharp money has sided with the dog in this matchup.
The Red Sox seem to be seeing the ball pretty well against Masahiro Tanaka. In 21 starts against Boston, Tanaka reports a 5.76 ERA. Last year he went 0-1 with a 24.75 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox.
Yet, despite those poor individual numbers, Tanaka boasts an 8-5 career record against Boston. Moreover, the Yankees own a 5-3 record over the Red Sox in games started by Tanaka since 2018.
Recent history notwithstanding, do I think Boston deserves to be a live dog in this game? The answer is unequivocally: YES.
The Red Sox rank fifth in runs scored (37) in the American League, but they also allowed more runs (43) than they’ve scored.
Still, Godley gives the Red Sox a chance if he can silence the Yankees bats in the middle of the order.
How to Play It
I recommend taking action on Boston’s first five innings line in order to isolate Tanaka’s starting window. New York’s infrequent exposure to Godley may defer runs to the latter half of the contest, and Tanaka may not be sharp in his first start of the season. Combined, those two factors create advantageous early-game conditions for Red Sox batters.
I would split my bet between a first-five moneyline bet and a first-five run-line play, which would provide a return if the game is tied going into the sixth inning.
Red Sox F5 ML (+140 at PointsBet) — 0.5u
Red Sox F5 RL = (+100 at PointsBet) — 0.5u