Red Sox vs Yankees Starts New Season Thursday MLB Odds Expert Analysis

Red Sox vs Yankees Starts New Season Thursday | MLB Odds Expert Analysis

The New York Yankees’ 2021 baseball season ended in a Wild-Card loss against the Boston Red Sox and the bitter rivals will be the first game of the new 2022 season on Thursday afternoon with the Yankees as home favorites on the MLB odds behind ace Gerrit Cole.

How to Bet Red Sox at Yankees MLB Odds & TV Info

Weather report

Rain likely, then rain and possibly a thunderstorm after 2pm. High near 55. East wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Both the Red Sox and Yankees are off Friday, so that would be the likely makeup day if rain ruins the opener on Thursday.

Why Bet on Boston?

Last year, the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the Wild-Card Game, upset the Rays in the Division Series but lost to the Astros in the ALCS. Under the current ownership group (2002-present), the Sox have been to the postseason 11 times. The only other teams with 10+ appearances in the last 20 years are NYY (16), STL (13), LAD (13), and ATL (11).

The Red Sox recorded MLB’s 2nd-largest increase in win percentage from 2020 (.400) to 2021 (.568). It was the 4th-largest increase in percentage in franchise history, trailing 1945-46 (.214), 1911-12 (.181), and 2012-13 (.173). The Sox held at least a share of 1st place in the AL East at the start of 85 days, including 46 straight from 4/9-5/24, 5 from 6/20-24, and 34 from 6/28-7/31.

Thursday will be the Red Sox debut of former Rockies All-Star shortstop Trevor Story, who will play second base with Boston. The team signed him to a six-year worth $140 million. There is an opt-out after the fourth season, which the Red Sox can negate if they so choose by adding a seventh year worth $20 million. Story was a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger with the Colorado Rockies, where he had seasons of 37 and 35 home runs while providing elite base running ability as well.

“The energy he brings, when you see him across the field it’s like, you want him on your team,” says staff ace Nathan Eovaldi, who faced Story in the National League. “(The move) sparks the team. We know they want us to win.”

Eovaldi will start on the mound Thursday, his third straight Opening Day assignment. The most recent pitchers to make 3 consecutive Opening Day starts for the Sox are Jon Lester (2011-14) and Pedro Martinez (1998-2004). In 2021, Eovaldi finished 4th in AL Cy Young Award voting and earned his 1st All-Star Game selection. He led the Sox in starts (32) and innings (182.1) while going 11-9 with a 3.75 ERA (76 ER/182.1 IP)

This will mark the 30th time the Sox open a season against the Yankees, but only the 7th in 50 years (last: 1973, ‘85, ‘92, 2005, ‘10, ‘13). The Sox have opened their season at Yankee Stadium only 3 times in the last 50 years, most recently in 1992, 2005, and 2013. In 2013, the Sox earned an 8-2 win in the opener en route to a World Series title.

Why Bet on New York?

As noted above, the Yankees were a Wild-Card team last year but were beaten 6-2 in that game in Boston. The Sox’s Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber homered off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, and Nathan Eovaldi took a shutout into the sixth inning. Bogaerts also cut down Aaron Judge at the plate in the sixth inning. The Yankees, who lead the majors with 27 World Series championships, have not won it all since 2009.

There was some talk that Aaron Boone might not be brought back this season after the playoff disappointment but he remains in the dugout. Thursday will be the Yankees regular-season debut of former AL MVP Josh Donaldson, the team’s new starting third baseman. New York sent former All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela to Minnesota for Donaldson, defense-focused shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt. New York also brought back first baseman Anthony Rizzo on a two-year, $32 million contract instead of landing another free agent like Freddie Freeman or making a trade with Oakland for Matt Olson.

The Yankees will carry a whopping 16 pitchers and just three bench players on their Opening Day roster Thursday. Switch-hitting utilityman Marwin Gonzalez will play a key role off the shortened bench. Teams are allowed to carry 28 players during April due to the shortened spring training.

“Marwin’s versatility gives up pretty good coverage everywhere,” Boone said. “Just early on, got to make sure we protect and build up the arms properly. We’ll make it work, and if we have to change on the fly a little bit, we’ll do that.”

Cole wasn’t good against the Red Sox in that Wild-Card game but is the AL Cy Young favorite and will start Thursday. Cole allowed one run and two hits, striking out five and walked two over 3 innings in a 6-2 win over the Detroit Tigers last Friday in his final spring tuneup.

Cole was pleased with his fastball command – he registered 99.5 mph on a few pitches – and with the action on his slider and change-up. He even threw a cutter, which could be an occasional part of the arsenal this year.

Last season, Cole was second in the AL Cy Young voting and finished in the top five in the voting each of the last four seasons. The 31-year-old right-hander posted a sparkling 3.23 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 243/41 K/BB ratio across 181 1/3 innings (30 starts) in his second season in New York. Yankees starters posted a 3.91 ERA in 2021, their lowest ERA since 2014 (3.77) and their third-lowest in the last 38 seasons since 1984 (also had 3.85 ERA in 1998).

Game Trends

  • Red Sox are 7-17 in their last 24 games as an underdog.
  • Red Sox are 6-15 in their last 21 games as a road underdog.
  • Red Sox are 2-5 in their last 7 Thursday games.
  • Yankees are 6-2 in their last 8 during game 1 of a series.
  • Yankees are 1-4 in their last 5 games as a favorite.
  • Red Sox are 1-6 in the last 7 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Yankees 4, Red Sox 3
 
 

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