Updated: Oct 6, 2021
We get a dream matchup to kick off the MLB Postseason: Two of the sport's most historic franchises, playing in a do or die one-game playoff matchup.
Yet, these historic franchises are meeting in the postseason for just the fifth time in history.
Every single one of those collisions, turned into a fall classic from Aaron Boone’s walk-off in the 2003 ALCS, to Boston’s overcoming a 3-0 deficit in the 2004 ALCS. We have another October classic in store once again. The Yankees swept three games in Fenway Park just last weekend, and the season series has gone through a series of pendulum swings. The Red Sox won their first seven head-to-head games then the Yankees countered to win nine of the final 12. So there is a lot of volatility going into this one-game playoff matchup.
AL Wild Card Game: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 5 | Time: 8:08 p.m. ET
Odds: NYY -130; BOS +110; O/U: 8 (via Draftkings Sportsbook)
Starting Pitching Matchup: Gerrit Cole vs Nathan Eovaldi:
If you like watching pitchers throw straight gas, this is the matchup for you. The Yankees will put the ball in the hands of their $324 million ace. New York paid him to pitch in this exact situation. In 30 starts, Cole has a 3.74ERA 12.1 K per 9, 2.92 FIP and 5.3 WAR. While the basic stats indicate Cole is having a sort of down year, the New York ace still has elite swing and miss stuff. He has a 19 percent swinging miss rate against lefties and 13 percent swinging miss rate against righties.
But against the Red Sox this season, Cole has struggled with 4.91 ERA and 1.500 WHIP and a .852 OPS against in 22 innings versus Boston this year. Cole gets a break with Red Sox slugger JD Martinez out of the lineup tonight after tripping over a second base bag while jogging to left field- as ridiculous as that sounds it actually happened. That is a huge blow to the Boston lineup.
As for Nathan Eovaldi, he has been a guy who has been key for Boston this season. With Chris Sale recovering from offseason UCL surgery, Boston needed some to step up-Eovaldi became that guy. In 32 starts, Eovaldi had 3.75 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and he has matched Cole with a 5.6 WAR.
On top of that, Eovaldi has been a Yankee whisperer since he’s been in a Red Sox uniform. For his career, he has a 3.64 ERA in 71.2 innings versus the Yankees. Eovaldi’s last start against the pinstripes, New York got to him for 7 runs in just 2.2 innings.
Is that outlier, or is this Yankees team finally him well? I guess we will have to find out to know.
The pick: New York -130
This is going to be very square, but getting the Yankees and Cole at -130 seems like a gift. Weird things always happen at Fenway Park. The Yankees have a lineup that is smoking hot. JD Martinez not being in the lineup is a big loss for Boston. The Yankees have the more reliable bullpen and the Yanks take care of business in this one.
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