On Sunday, the Yankees and Red Sox conclude their first series of the 2020 season. In his second start, Yankees lefty James Paxton will hope to turn things around after a rough outing last Saturday. Meanwhile, Boston plans on running a ‘bullpen game.’
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY – 7:08 PM EST
Game Info/Starting Pitchers:
BOS: Bullpen Game, Likely Opener: Austin Brice – R (Last Season: 3.43 ERA, 4.87 FIP, -0.1 WAR, 44.2 IP)
NYY: James Paxton – L (Last Season: 3.82 ERA 3.86 FIP 3.5 WAR 150.2 IP)
Odds & Betting lines (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Total: 10 | Over: -108 | Under: -113
BOS| Moneyline: +210 | Run Line (+1.5): -105
NYY | Moneyline: -245 | Run Line (-1.5): -114
BOS: SP Chris Sale, SP Eduardo Rodriguez, 2B Dustin Pedroia, RP Darwinzon Hernandez, RP Josh Taylor
NYY: SP Luis Severino, RP Luis Cessa, RP Tommy Kahnle
Let’s Try This Again
When I say Paxton had a rough opening game, rough is an understatement. In just 1 inning against the Nationals, the Canadian allowed 5 hits, a walk, and 3 runs while only striking out 1. As I mentioned in my preview for that game, Paxton’s success hinges on his fastball velocity more than anything. It’s worth repeating, as you can now bet somewhat aggressively if he has another slow start.
They Put in Who?
As has become popular around the league, the Red Sox are looking to run a ‘bullpen game’ on Sunday. In this case, a Red Sox bullpen game will test the limits of your baseball knowledge. Indeed, 6 of the 12 Boston relievers have less than 2 seasons of MLB service time. Don’t be surprised when the team puts in relative unknowns Phillips Valdez, Chris Mazza, and Matt Hall in the early and middle innings.
BOS ML (+210)
Surprisingly, it seems as if the public is completely discounting Paxton’s poor performance. In fact, it’s almost as if they’re overpaying for his services. At his best, Paxton is a 3.5-3.7 ERA pitcher. That’s not bad at all–in fact, it’s very good. At the same time, however, there’s no reason that he and the Yankees should be 68% favorites. Yes, Boston will be pitching a bullpen game, but mediocre relievers can match solid starters–at least in short spurts. And with expanded rosters, those short spurts will be readily available. And, as I mentioned in yesterday’s preview, the familiarity factor makes this an even closer matchup.