Friday night baseball and we will see the New York Yankees travel up the coast a bit to take on the Boston Red Sox in game 1 of their 4 game series. The game is scheduled for a 7.10 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on YES (New York) and NESN (Boston). Currently the odds have the Yankees favored at -111, while Boston is a dog of +106. The total for the game sits at 9.5 runs.
Free Analysis: While there is nearly three full months left in the regular season, the New York Yankees can take a big step toward burying their bitter rival when they visit Fenway Park for a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox starting Friday night. The Yankees have a 5 1/2-game lead atop the American League East and hold a 7 1/2-game cushion over the Red Sox, who are a middling 21-21 at home and were pounded by New York in two meetings at Fenway in April. New York, though, is 3-4 since CC Sabathia was placed on the disabled list June 27 and Andy Pettitte broke a bone in his left leg on the same day. The Yankees, though, have received outstanding performances from their starting pitchers lately with a 2.35 ERA in the last five games. Hiroki Kuroda began that stretch with a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday - his latest dominant effort. The right-hander, 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA in his last seven starts, matched a career high with 11 strikeouts and yielded three singles over seven innings. Kuroda now stands at 8-7 on the season with a 3.17 ERA and will face the Red Sox for the second time in his career. The first encounter came on June 20, 2010 and he lost despite throwing seven innings of two-run ball while fanning nine. The Red Sox hope to take full advantage of their opportunity to cut into the Yankees' lead atop the American League East. Momentum is not on the Red Sox's side though as they are coming off a 2-5 road trip that concluded with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Athletics. Boston scored 14 runs on the swing and dropped Wednesday's finale 3-2. The Red Sox will hand the ball to Josh Beckett tonight. Josh is one of the few pitchers to have success against the Bronx Bombers in 2011. Beckett was the only major leaguer to win more than two games against the Yankees last season as he was an outstanding 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five outings. Beckett is 14-7 lifetime versus New York despite a 5.36 ERA. Beckett (4-7, 4.06) has posted a 3.60 ERA in his last five outings but has lost three consecutive decisions as the Red Sox have provided him with eight runs in that span. In Wednesday's loss, David Ortiz reached a milestone by belting his 400th career homer, a game- tying shot in the fourth inning that made him the 49th player in major league history to reach the mark. for NY their offensive star of late has been Robinson Cano, as he has driven in at least a run in a career-high eight straight games and has a hit in 11 in row. Cano, the captain for the AL's Home Run Derby team, is hitting .316 on the season with 20 homers and 50 RBI and is a career .324 batter versus Beckett with three homers and 13 RBI.
Free Pick: I like the Bombers in this one. Cano is very hot right now and has had great success vs Beckett in his career. Josh is just 2-4 with a 3.69 ERA at home, while at night he has gone just 1-5 with a 4.65 ERA. He has a solid 3.43 ERA in his last 3 starts, but the Sox have put up just 1.3 rpg in those starts, so he has an 0-2 mark to show for his efforts oin his last 3 starts. The Sox do average 5.6 rpg at home, but they are off a 7 game trip, in which they scored just 14 runs total, and it will take them a game or two to get their timing back at home. Doesn't help the Sox offense that they are facing a hot Hiroki Kuroda, who has allowed 2 ER's or less in 6 of his last 7 starts, while posting an ERA of 1.65 over that stretch. Hiroki is hot and with Boston coming off a west coast trip I just don't expect their offense to do much damage vs him here. The Sox have good success at home vs lefties, but are just 10-21 in their last 31 home games vs a righty. Look for the AL East leading Yanks to move to 5-1 in their last 6 games at Fenway.
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MLB Free Picks: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox BettingWhat baseball bettors need to know about Yankees at Red Sox on Friday (7/6/12) - with Pregame.com's Bryan Leonard and host Scott Spreitzer.