The Boston Red Sox (1-6) and the New York Yankees (4-3) have it in for the second time on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park a day after the Sox rolled up a 9-6 victory for their first win on the MLB lines on the year.
The Yankees aren't in the greatest shape in the world right now either, as they are just a game above .500 and really haven't done a great job pitching this year. The good news is that the bats are really humming in fine form, especially those of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Both have a trio of dingers on the season, accounting for six of the team's MLB best 14 home runs on the season. Ivan Nova will be on the bump on Saturday afternoon, and we're not so sure that he is really ready to be pitching on this type of a stage quite yet in his career. Nova did earn the win, the second of his career back on April 4th against the Minnesota Twins, as he allowed three runs in six innings to get the 'W' in the 4-3 victory. As it happens to be though, the Red Sox have absolutely obliterated Nova in his career. He only pitched in 10 games last season, but two happened to be against the Sox. Nova allowed five runs on eight hits with six walks in just 7.0 innings of work. He also has a blown save in there as well. Both of his career losses have come against Boston.
If the bats really do start to get going for the Red Sox, the rest of baseball really needs to look out. Boston isn't going to stay cold forever, and the nine runs that hit the board on Friday afternoon might be the beginning of the resurgence in Beantown. The Red Sox hope to jump out on Nova once again in this one just like they did in the early innings against Phil Hughes on Friday, and if that's the case, the job for Taylor Buchholz will become that much easier. Buchholz was certainly nothing to write home about in his first start of the season, as he allowed four solo homers in 6.1 innings of work against the Texas Rangers in his first start of the year. The bats didn't help him out any, and he ended as the 5-1 loser on the day. This home run thing is strange for Buchholz, who only allowed 33 homers in his first 360+ innings of work in his career, so we expect to see him keep the ball in the yard on a significantly greater basis both on Saturday and for the rest of the season.
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox Pick: The Sox are laying a hefty number on the MLB Odds in this one, but it is certainly justified. Nova should get lit up like a Christmas tree in this nationally televised duel on Saturday, and Boston should clinch the series win. Go with the Red Sox -148.