3 Bold Predictions for Yankees-Red Sox Wild Card Matchup

Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Yankees in the AL wild card game against Boston.
Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Yankees in the AL wild card game against Boston. / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The greatest rivalry in all of sports will be on center stage Tuesday night, as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox face off in a win-or-go-home American League wild card game

It doesn’t get much better than this for baseball fans. 

Gerrit Cole will toe the rubber for the Yankees while Nathan Eovaldi will make his seventh start of the season against New York for the Red Sox. 

My full betting preview for tonight’s game is here

The Yankees put themselves in position to make the playoffs by sweeping the Red Sox in late September at Fenway Park, but do they have one last win on the road left in them? 

WynnBET Sportsbook has New York as a slight favorite at -125 odds on the moneyline in this matchup. Anything can happen when the Yankees and Red Sox square off, from walk-off wins to bench-clearing brawls, but here are my three bold predictions for tonight’s matchup:

Gerrit Cole Pitches Five Innings or Less

The Yankees have their ace on the mound in Cole, but he’s been far from an ace since injuring his hamstring earlier in September. 

Cole has made four starts since the injury and has allowed 16 runs in 22.2 innings. He gave up the most extra-base hits in MLB in September and simply has not been himself over his last few outings. 

To make matters worse, he’s been beat up by Boston this season. 

Aaron Boone is going to make sure that this game doesn’t get away from the Yankees, even if that means pulling Cole earlier than he’d like. With Domingo German, Luis Severino and Michael King all in the bullpen and able to give the Yankees two innings of quality work each, there’s a chance Boone tries to shorten this game and go to the bullpen at the first sign of trouble. 

If the Yankees have an advantage tonight, it’s the fact that they have the fourth-best bullpen ERA in all of baseball. If you’re fading Cole like I am, taking the under on his strikeout prop (set at 6.5 on WynnBET) at +105 odds is a great move.

Yankees and Red Sox Both Strike Early 

I’m already fading Cole, so why not take both offenses to get off to a hot start? 

The Yankees’ last two wild card game appearances have resulted in them scoring in the first inning. They put up in the 2017 AL Wild Card Game between New York and the Minnesota Twins and Aaron Judge’s two-run blast in the first inning of the 2018 game against the Oakland A’s helped propel the Yankees to a win. 

While taking the Yankees’ first inning moneyline doesn’t have much value (New York is -120), grabbing the over on the first three innings total (2.5 at +100 odds) could be a solid play. Both pitchers don’t have to get rocked for this to happen, but I also don’t see Cole and Eovaldi dueling shutout inning after shutout inning in this matchup either. 

Yankees Cover the -1.5 Run Line (+130)

New York has covered the run line in 11 of the last 12 matchups with Boston this season, and I think it does it again tonight. 

The Yankees have beat up on Boston’s bullpen as of late, and Alex Cora already burned starters Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta on Sunday against the Washington Nationals. 

Maybe he’s willing to bring one or both of those guys back again, but it would put Boston in a really tough spot for the ALDS. If Cora is forced to go to his bullpen earlier than he wants, Giancarlo Stanton and company may tee off.

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