Red Sox at Yankees MLB Pick for September 19

by Taylor Smith
on September 19, 2018
4

Minute Read

Boston Red Sox (+149)
VS
New York Yankees (-159)
Total: 8

The New York Yankees may have picked up a win on Tuesday night, but they’re still 10 1/2 games south of the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East. With the end of the season about a week-and-a-half away, the Sox just need one more victory to clinch the division title. The Yankees tried their best to make sure the Red Sox didn’t celebrate on their turf on Tuesday night, but Boston will have another chance to dance at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

Barring a Red Sox collapse of epic proportions, the Yankees are going to have to settle for the do-or-die Wild Card Game, where they’re likely to face the Oakland A’s. While the Yanks and A’s look to be on a collision course, where the game will be played is still very much in question. A Yankee win combined with an Oakland loss on Tuesday opened New York’s lead over the A’s to 2 1/2 games. There is still time for the A’s to make that ground up, but it’s looking more and more like the Wild Card Game will go down in the Bronx.

David Price will climb the hill looking to clinch the division for Boston on Wednesday against Yankees right-hander Luis Severino.

Price hasn’t exactly been consistent this season for Boston, but he’s been in excellent form of late. After going 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 5 August starts, Price has lowered his ERA to 1.35 and racked up 17 strikeouts in 2 outings since the calendar flipped to September. On the season, his 3.42 ERA is about in line with his 3.68 SIERA. The former Cy Young winner has a strikeout rate over 25 percent on the year, while walks haven’t been much of a concern.

Price is a fly ball pitcher, and fly ball pitchers have a way of allowing more home runs. Price has been taken deep 20 times across 28 starts to this point, which isn’t egregious or anything. His hard contact rate allowed (31.5 percent) is also passable, which helps explain the positive results he’s gotten, particularly lately.

Price does get a slight park upgrade going from Fenway into Yankee Stadium tonight, but he’ll have to face one of the toughest lineups in all of baseball. Aaron Judge has returned to the lineup for New York, though he’s still working his way back from a wrist fracture. Even if he’s hitting at 50-75 percent capacity, Judge is still an imposing figure in the batters’ box. Price will also have to deal with the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres, among others. There are very few easy outs in this Yankees lineup when they’re all healthy.

Severino got off to a flying start this season, but he’s struggled quite a bit over the last couple of months or so. His problems really started once the season got into July. The right-hander posted a bloated 6.58 ERA that month, a 4.86 ERA in August and so far in September he’s at 6.48.

The weird part about Severino is that his underlying numbers don’t really suggest he should be a guy going through a lengthy rough patch. He has maintained an excellent strikeout rate over 28 percent on the year, and his 5.8 percent walk rate is even lower than Price’s. His low early-season ERA was always going to regress a bit according to his SIERA, and it has. Severino currently has a 3.46 ERA, which isn’t bad, but it’s also not nearly the elite number we saw through the first few months of the campaign.

His hard contact rate has gone up a bit this season while his ground ball rate has plummeted. Severino induced grounders at about a 50 percent clip last year, but so far in 2018 it’s dipped all the way to 41.2 percent. He’s surrendered 19 homers through 30 starts this year after allowing 21 all of last season.

Unless he’s pitching through an undisclosed injury, there isn’t much out there to suggest that Severino should be struggling as much as he has been. As a result, I’m just going to trust the underlying talent here and hope he can actually start getting the positive results his numbers say should be on the way.

Severino does get a tough matchup of his own tonight against what has been a loaded Red Sox offense this season, but the lineup isn’t looking all that imposing these days. Mookie Betts is currently dealing with an oblique injury, but he is expected to return to the Boston lineup as the team’s DH for this game. J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts are tough outs, but Severino will also get to pitch to a group of hitters including Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Phillips, Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. That isn’t the most imposing quintet around.

I like the Yankees quite a bit in this one. Price is a lefty with a wide platoon split, and the meat of the New York lineup consists of thunderous right-handed bats. Price got absolutely pounded in a similar spot against this very lineup earlier in the season, and we know Yankee Stadium is a park that will allow plenty of home runs. The Red Sox obviously present a tough matchup of their own for Severino, but I think he’s well positioned here tonight to finally start turning things back around.

Most online betting sites (like BetOnline) have the Yanks favored in this one, but you can get a nice +130 price for New York to cover the -1 1/2 runline. I think they do just that tonight, so hop on the Yankees here.

Pick: Yankees -1 1/2
+130

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$230
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