Matchup: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Date/Time: August 3, 8:00 p.m. ET
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: NYY: David Phelps (5-5, 3.89 ERA) v. BOS: Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.87)
A series victory will be on the line Sunday night when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox play deep into the night on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. After the Red Sox bullpen held on to Anthony Ranaudo’s first Major League win, the Yankees responded by knocking Allen Webster out in the third inning of Saturday’s game en route to a 6-4 win. The win allowed the Yankees to move back to five games in back of Baltimore for the AL East lead and they picked up a game on Toronto in the hunt for the second Wild Card.
It will be up to David Phelps to take a series victory at Fenway Park, which would be the Yankees’ second series victory in Boston this season. The Yankees had lost five out of six before Saturday’s victory, so a win on Sunday would be huge. Since joining the starting rotation for good on May 5, Phelps has a 5-5 record with a 3.90 ERA. After a bumpy June, in which Phelps allowed an .805 OPS and posted a 5.25 ERA, he rebounded in July with a 2.97 ERA in five starts. His last outing of the month was his worst, as he allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings against the Texas Rangers. The Yankees have only given Phelps 3.5 runs of support per start this season, which is the fourth-worst run support among all pitchers with 100 or more innings pitched.
Clay Buchholz has had a rough season. After an injury cost him nearly a month from late May to late June, he still hasn’t been the same pitcher he was during the first half of last season. Buchholz has a 5.87 ERA overall and has a 4.63 ERA in seven starts since returning from the disabled list. One of those starts was a complete game shutout of Houston with 12 strikeouts. In the other six, Buchholz has a 5.73 ERA. Since the Houston complete game on July 13, Buchholz has a 7.94 ERA over his last three starts and opposing batters are batting .333 with a .903 OPS and he has walked eight to go along with just eight strikeouts in 17 innings.
Phelps will be facing the Red Sox for the 11th time overall and fourth time as a starter. All three starts came back in 2012. Overall, Phelps is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA over 30 career innings against Boston. This season, he has allowed two unearned runs in three appearances spanning 4.2 innings. The Yankees are 5-11 in Phelps’s 16 starts for a loss of 5.35 units.
Buchholz draws the Yankees for the 14th time in his career. The previous 13 outings haven’t gone very well overall, as Buchholz is 5-6, but has a 5.12 ERA. Over his last four starts against the Yankees, however, Buchholz is 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA. He lost to the Yankees earlier this season in a start where he allowed four runs, two earned, over seven innings. The Red Sox are 7-10 in Buchholz’s 17 starts for a loss of 6.35 units.
Free MLB Pick: Boston
The Yankees have had a tough time scoring runs in support of Phelps and current Yankees have a slash line of .248/.295/.314/.609 in 103 career plate appearances against Buchholz. The Red Sox have some guys looking to make an impact for next season and that should keep them playing hard the rest of the season, especially a nationally-televised Sunday night game on ESPN at home.