The best rivalry in baseball takes center stage tonight, as the Boston Red Sox host the New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game. Despite getting swept at home against the Yankees in the final weeks of the season, and dropping the final six regular-season meetings, the Red Sox won the season series 10-9. That advantage gives them the home-field advantage for tonight’s contest. Let’s take a look at the Yankees vs. Red Sox AL Wild Card MLB betting guide:
AL Wild Card MLB Betting Picks: Yankees vs. Red Sox
NYY: RHP Gerrit Cole (16-8, 3.23 ERA/1.06 WHIP)
BOS: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA/1.19 WHIP)
NYY: Moneyline (-120) | Run Line -1.5 (+135)
BOS: Moneyline (+115) | Run Line +1.5 (-150)
Total: 8.5 runs
Best AL Wild Card MLB Bets & Player Props Today
Gerrit Cole: Under 6.5 Strikeouts, +130 (DraftKings)
Cole struggled mightily against the Red Sox this season, going 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in four starts. He did make one start in the final regular-season series at Fenway Park, allowing three runs over six innings, and the Yankees got the 8-3 win that night. It is reasonable to think that Cole will have a max of six innings tonight, as he has only made it past the sixth inning once in 12 starts since the All-Star break. Cole’s last three outings before tonight have seen him allow a total of 24 hits (five home runs) and 15 earned runs over a span of 17.2 innings.
With all of that being said, it is not a given that Cole will have a lights-out performance tonight. Cole has failed to exceed 6.5 strikeouts in two of his four starts against Boston this season. If things start getting a bit hectic early, New York has enough quality arms to play the matchups out of the bullpen. Cole has massive -160 odds to hit the over on 6.5 strikeouts, but the +130 number offers a huge payday with some solid reasoning behind it.
Nathan Eovaldi: Over 5.5 Strikeouts, -115, (DraftKings)
Eovaldi did not have a great run against the Yankees this season, like Cole against Boston, going 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. The last of those starts was an absolute disaster, as he allowed seven hits and seven runs over 2.2 innings. Although the Yankees teed off on Eovaldi recently, the strikeouts can magically appear once again. New York was in a tie for the fourth-highest strikeout rate (24.9%) against right-handed pitching, so there is an angle for Eovaldi to succeed. He exceeded 5.5 strikeouts in nine of his last 10, and the only exception was a zero against the Yankees 11 days ago. Regardless, one horrific start in a nice sample size of 10 does not necessarily push the rest of those numbers out the window.
Enrique Hernandez: Over 0.5 Runs, +120 (DraftKings)
Hernandez is projected to bat leadoff tonight for the Red Sox, which gives him one of the most optimal chances of touching home plate. He has a nice history against Cole, going 5-for-11 with two doubles and a home run. It is also worth noting that Hernandez has three walks and no strikeouts in those career matchups, meaning that getting on-base has not been a problem for him in the past. With the colder weather expected at Fenway in October, perhaps something small like a dribbler up the third-base line could lead to an infield single and a run.
Aaron Judge: Over 1.5 Total Bases, -105 (DraftKings)
There probably will not be many home runs tonight given the upper-50s temperatures expected at Fenway Park tonight. However, if one guy is going to get on base, it is likely to be Judge. He is hitting .400 against Eovaldi in 21 career plate appearances, with three extra-base hits (one home run). In addition, Judge has an .400 on-base percentage (20% walk rate) against the Red Sox this season. DraftKings has Judge’s odds of getting a hit at -255 tonight, which is by far the largest odds for any player in the game. If that holds true, one of those hits could go for extra bases.
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