Over/Under: 10 (-110/-110)
The Yankees pulled off a miraculous comeback victory Saturday afternoon, winning 5-3 after trailing 2-1 for the majority of the game.
Giancarlo Stanton hit another home run, making it his second straight game in a row and capping off an impressive stretch.
So, let’s find the best angle and bet on it.
Yankees Go As Stanton Goes
With his grand slam on Saturday, Stanton has hit seven home runs and knocked in 18 RBI over his past 17 games. Stanton has posted a 1.024 OPS during that stretch.
When Stanton goes, the Yankees’ offense goes. New York has the fourth-highest OPS (.827) and the fifth-highest wRC+ (126) in mlb over the past two weeks.
Aaron Judge continues to pace New York in position player fWAR, compiling 4.8 on the season. While he’s working on a five-game hit streak, he’s posted just a .781 OPS in September, which would be his lowest in any month this season and much lower than his season-long .904 mark.
Judge has been a very consistent hitter all season, but he’s seemed to have trouble with offspeed stuff recently:
Boston’s pitching staff will surely attempt to take advantage of that.
Starting pitcher: Jordan Montgomery (LHP)
Speaking of consistency: Montgomery has been the model of it this season. He’s pitched the second-most innings on the staff and has done so with a 3.55 ERA and a 3.87 xFIP.
However, he’s steadily improved throughout the season. His last 10 starts have been his best, posting a 2.31 ERA and a 3.45 xFIP over 50 2/3 innings. But the Yankees won just five of those 10 starts.
Montgomery has one of the most even five-pitch mixes in baseball, throwing a changeup, curveball, sinker, four-seam and cutter all between 24.8% and 13.7% of the time.
The changeup has been his best pitch. On the season, opponents are batting just .179 on the pitch with a .284 SLG, compiling a -12 run value. And just like the rest of his season, Montgomery has steadily improved with the pitch over the year:
Bad Losses At Bad Times For Boston
These last two losses shouldn’t define how the Red Sox have been playing recently. Prior to this series, and Boston had posted a 13-6 record in September behind mlb’s second-best OPS (.857) and wOBA (.363).
The Red Sox won 10 of the first 13 meetings between these two, but the Yankees have taken the last five in a row. The Red Sox will still win the season series, 10-9 if they lose again tonight, but they’ve played their worst baseball at the most critical times.
We need to talk about Bobby Dalbec, who’s putting together one of the best second halves in baseball. Since August 1, Dalbec has posted the fourth-highest OPS (1.140) and wRC+ (197) in baseball. Those numbers trail only Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, and Yasmani Grandal — a pretty good list to be on.
Dalbec has had elite batted ball statistics all season, but his problem has been discipline. On the season, Dalbec is striking out 34.2% of the time while walking just 6.4% of the time.
But since August rolled around, he flipped that script. Since August 1, Dalbec has cut down his strikeout rate to 26.4% while upping his walk rate to more than 10%. Given his ability to smoke the baseball, the added discipline has done wonders for his game.
Starting pitcher: Eduardo Rodrgiuez (LHP)
E-Rod has been one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball this season. Between his 4.97 ERA and his 3.51 xFIP, you’d think he would’ve had some positive regression by now.
However, Rodriguez continues to elude that improvement. In September, he pairs his 4.05 ERA with a 3.22 FIP, and the Red Sox are just 5-5 in his last 10 starts.
The low expected numbers come from his high strikeout rate and low walk rate. Rodriguez has posted a career-high 10.43 K/9 and a career-low 2.64 BB/9, recording better than a a 30% K rate on three of his five main pitches.
While he keeps his average exit velocity down (86.6 mph), he’s getting barreled up at the highest rate of his career (34.2%). However, that stat still ranks in the 81st percentile of qualified pitchers.
The main reason for his lack of luck is his BABIP, which still sits at a whopping .359 on the season. That includes a .368 BABIP in September and a .349 BABIP over his past 10 starts.
The league average for BABIP is .300, and Rodriguez’s career average BABIP is .309. One has to believe this tough luck streak can’t last forever.
Despite these two high-flying offenses, the Yankees and Red Sox are 7-3 to the under the last 10 times they’ve played. That includes Saturday’s affair.
However, the wind is blowing straight out to right field Sunday night at about 8.7 mph. Plus, our umpire, Joe West, is almost exactly 50% to the under in his career (263-261).
While we’ve tracked some sharp money on the Yankees, New York opened at -105 and currently sits at +100. Plus, at the time of this writing, the public is split exactly 50/50 on each side, with about 53% of the money coming in on Boston.
And that’s where I’m going to put my money. I don’t think the Red Sox get swept in this spot, and the Red Sox have been slightly better against southpaws. Over the past 30 days and vs. LHPs, Boston’s recorded a .741 OPS to New York’s .710.
I’ll take the Red Sox at anything better than -120.
Pick: Red Sox ML (-120 | Play to -120)