In their second matchup of the year, the Yankees and Red Sox face off again in the Bronx. Making his 2020 debut for the Yankees will be right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will trot out veteran hurler Zack Godley.
Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY – 7:07 PM EST
Game Info/Starting Pitchers:
BOS: Zack Godley – R (Last Season: 5.97 ERA 5.20 FIP -0.1 WAR 92 IP)
NYY: Masahiro Tanaka – R (Last Season: 4.45 ERA 4.27 FIP 3.3 WAR 182 IP)
Odds & Betting lines (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Total: 10 | Over: -107 | Under: -113
BOS | Moneyline: +160 | Run Line (+1.5): -118
NYY | Moneyline: -190 | Run Line (-1.5): +110
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
Past His Prime?
While with the Diamondbacks, Zack Godley had his share of success. From 2017-2018, the former 10th-rounder amassed 5.9 WAR across 333.1 innings. Since then, however, it seems as if he’s a whole different player. In 2019, he couldn’t even muster replacement-level production, setting his teams back -0.1 WAR in 92 innings. Since his peak, his strikeouts and ground balls are down, while homers allowed are up. He did make an impressive 4-game relief appearance earlier this season, but it was only with two pitches. If he wants to play as a starter, he’ll need to rediscover a third effective pitch.
Don’t Split on Me
Throughout his career, Masahiro Tanaka has been known as both a control artist and a strikeout master. Without the latter title, however, things fell apart. After two seasons with at least a 25% strikeout rate, Tanaka couldn’t even reach the 20% mark in ‘19.
The greatest cause of this decline was the disappearance of his trademark splitter. Normally, it generates a whiff on 30-40% of swings, but last year it only did so 18% of the time. In all, Tanaka lost about 3 inches of drop on the pitch. It remains tantamount that he rekindles its old magic.
BOS +1.5 (-118)
A common thread over my past few underdog picks has been to trust the spread. This is driven by relatively simple facts. Most notably, league offense is somewhat depressed (as hitters warm up) and 28% of games end within 1 run. On top of this, the Yankees and Red Sox are familiar foes, making it all the likelier this game remains close. As more or less 40% underdogs, -118 is good value on the run line.
Given that this game is so popular on the slate, however, this appears as the one standalone value. Keep an eye out for lineup announcements (3 hours before first pitch), as a rest day for a slugger is another easy way to mine value.