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Yankees vs. Red Sox: AL Wild Card Game odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

October 5th, 2021

Another chapter will be added to one of the most intense rivalries in sports on Tuesday night as the New York Yankees battle the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in the American League Wild Card Game.

Both teams endured a hectic stretch run just to get to this point, but only one club will survive and advance in this winner-take-all affair. Let’s dive into the matchup and give out our best bet below.

New York Yankees (92-70) at Boston Red Sox (92-70), 8:08 p.m. ET, ESPN

Wed, October 6 2021, 12:08 AM

BOS Red Sox

Moneyline

+110

Run Line

+1.5

Total

O 8

NY Yankees

Moneyline

-134

Run Line

-1.5

Total

U 8

The Yankees’ edge in the bullpen battle should enable them to sneak out of Boston with a Wild Card Game victory over the hated Red Sox.

Bombers ace Gerrit Cole gets the nod here, but Boston’s bats are unlikely to be too intimidated by him. Even after tossing a quality start against these Red Sox on Sept. 24 (three earned runs over six innings), Cole still sports a 4.91 ERA and 1.500 WHIP over 22 innings of work against this opponent in 2021.

Nathan Eovaldi counters for Boston, and he was rocked by New York on Sept. 24, allowing seven earned runs over 2 2/3 frames. But Eovaldi still owns a respectable 3.71 ERA over 34 innings of work against his former club this year.

While it may be difficult to read the tea leaves regarding these two starters, it’s relatively easy to gauge how things will go once the bullpens get involved. The Yankees’ relief corps sports an MLB-best 1.84 ERA over the last two weeks, while the Red Sox relievers rank 18th in the same span at 4.66.

Bombers closer Aroldis Chapman has allowed just one earned run over his last 10 appearances (9 2/3 innings), earning five saves in that span. He’s authored a 2.70 ERA over 6 2/3 innings of work against Boston this season, going 3-for-3 in save chances. Jonathan Loaisiga (1.40 ERA over 38 2/3 innings on the road in 2021) and Chad Green (0.884 WHIP in 2021) should serve as effective bridges to “The Cuban Missile” on Tuesday night.

Boston manager Alex Cora clearly has the more difficult job compared to Yankees counterpart Aaron Boone. While trade deadline pickup Hansel Robles has come on strong late in the year – earning two saves in his team’s final series of the season to cap off a run of 13 straight regular season appearances without allowing a run – colleagues Adam Ottavino, Garrett Richards, and Matt Barnes have regressed.

Expect the Yankees to get a clutch late hit to win this one and earn a date with the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.

Final score prediction: Yankees 5, Red Sox 4

MLB pick: Yankees -130


Player prop pick: Aaron Judge Over 0.5 RBI (+155)

Aaron Judge got the Yankees’ lone RBI in a 1-0 victory in Game 162 over the Rays. Prop bettors should anticipate another clutch hit from the All-Star outfielder on Tuesday night.

Judge is a career .400 hitter against Eovaldi (8-for-20), and has a solid .850 OPS over 40 at-bats against Red Sox pitching this year. Whether it’s an infield hit or a homer, expect Judge to come through in the clutch at some point on Tuesday night.

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