Game: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Time: 8:08 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Gerrit Cole vs. Nathan Eovaldi
Odds: Yankees -120, Red Sox +117
The only thing better than a Yankees-Red Sox wild card playoff would be a Yankees-Red Sox pennant series, but fans will take it. Tonight, the two MLB rivals will play for the opportunity to advance to the American League Division Series and face Tampa Bay.
Boston won the season series winning 10 of the 19 games played between the two teams. That is a little misleading though as the Red Sox started the season with six straight wins over New York. Boston was also the first MLB team to 50 wins this season. Then came the second-half collapse.
The Red Sox barely made the postseason and didn’t fare well against the Yankees, who have won the past six straight games against Boston. The Bosox were fortunate to play Baltimore and Washington to end the season, but still found a way to lose the series to the last-place Orioles.
Tonight, Boston will put Nathan Eovaldi on the mound against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. Ace is probably not the term that one would associate with Cole’s performance against the Red Sox this season. Yes, Cole is one of baseball’s elite pitchers. He is 16-8 with a 3.23 ERA this season. Against Boston though, he’s been mediocre at best.
Cole started four games against Boston this season. He allowed at least three runs in three of those starts. His worst start came at Fenway Park where Cole has not pitched well historically. In 32 career innings at Fenway, Cole has allowed opponents to hit .291 and his ERA balloons to 5.06.
Consider what Cole has done recently as well. In his last three starts, Cole has given up 15 earned runs in 17.2 innings. The Yankees went 1-2 in those three games. Over his last eight starts, Cole has allowed at least five hits in six of those. If you go back to his first eight starts of the season, Cole didn’t allow more than five hits once.
Eovaldi’s numbers aren’t outstanding, but he has been Boston’s most reliable pitcher all season. He finished the season 11-9 with a 3.70 ERA. Eovaldi started six games against the Yankees in 2021. In 34 total innings, he posted an ERA of 3.71. That number is a bit misleading though.
In his first five starts against New York, Eovaldi allowed two or fewer runs. Through those five starts, his ERA against the Yankees was a very impressive 2.01. Then came the start on Sept. 24. Eovaldi couldn’t get out of the second inning lasting just 2.2 after giving up seven hits and seven earned runs.
Tonight’s total is set at 8, which makes sense given the caliber of both pitchers and also the potential of both lineups. Boston finished fifth in MLB in runs per game (5.12). The Yankees averaged over six runs in the seven games prior to their final series against Tampa Bay when they produced a total of six runs.
The Yankees will be without DJ LeMahieu who hit .268 this season.