The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have played just two of their eventual six series meetings this season, with the rivalry resuming Friday night at Fenway Park.
We begin with a Thursday night update with Cincinnati a $1.46 favorite at San Diego on the Don Best odds screen. The total is a low 6½ and even shaded to the ‘under.’
This is an expected pitcher’s duel with the Reds’ Mat Latos (7-2, 4.42 ERA) against Edinson Volquez (5-7, 3.68 ERA). These players were traded for each other last December along with catcher Yasmani Grandal, first baseman Yonder Alonso and right-hander Brad Boxberger going to the Padres.
San Diego is 33-50 on the year, but has won 5-straight with Grandal hitting four homers in that span after being called up. Latos is facing his former team for the first time, but has a solid 3.31 ERA in 31 career starts at Petco Park.
Volquez has a 3.45 home ERA this year versus 4.02 away. Don Best MLB analyst Kenny White likes both starters to be motivated and perform well against their former clubs.
Our look at Friday night starts with the Cubs at the New York Mets. Johan Santana goes for the home team and is a $1.70 favorite with a total of 7½
Chicago’s Travis Wood (3-3, 3.05 ERA) has been under a lot of pressure since being acquired from Cincinnati before the season. He has really come on of late, allowing just one earned run over his last 20 innings of work and winning his last three starts.
The 25-year-old right-hander had a 4.84 ERA last year with Cincinnati, but was unlucky with a Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) of over .300. That stat this year is just .219 with his luck turning around. Don Best’s White sees his ERA going up from this point.
The Cubs defeated Santana 6-1 at home on June 25, with Wood throwing seven scoreless innings.
Santana (6-4, 2.76 ERA) got the loss against the Cubs despite allowing just two earned over six innings. He’s been lights-out in eight Citi Field starts (4-1, 1.16 ERA).
White sees a betting result reversal from the last start between these pitchers, going with the Mets and the ‘over.’
Switching backs to the Yanks and Red Sox, Boston is a $1.25 favorite with a pretty big total of 9½. Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.17 ERA) will square off against Josh Beckett (4-7, 4.06 ERA).
Kuroda is coming off arguably his best effort of the season, striking out 11 Chicago White Sox hitters and throwing seven scoreless. He had a 1.98 ERA in six June starts and the ‘under’ is 11-2 in his last 13 overall.
Beckett recently came off a DL stint for shoulder inflammation. He surrendered two earned runs over six innings at Seattle in his first start back, but his usual 94-95 mph fastball has diminished some this year.
The 32-year-old right-hander is 7-3 in his last 10 starts against the Yankees, but with a lofty 5.37 ERA. He is 14-7 lifetime against them.
Boston went 2-5 in its just-completed road trip, getting swept by Oakland in a series that ended Wednesday.
White believes the Red Sox are good enough to make a run at the Yankees in the AL East despite currently being 7½-games behind. They are expecting several key players back from injury soon, including outfielders Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Take a look at the Don Best Pro Odds screen for all the latest breaking information.