Welcome to baseball’s biggest rivalry on the biggest stage. The New York Yankees face off against their hated rival Boston Red Sox in the 2021 American League Wild Card Game. This AL East showdown focuses on significant advantages to determine who wins this Yankees vs. Red Sox prediction.
AL Wild Card Game: Yankees vs. Red Sox Prediction
The Red Sox squeaked out the tiebreaker with a regular-season series win against the Yankees. This season, Boston owned a 10-9 overall record head-to-head against New York, which granted them a home-field advantage for this play-in game. Whoever reigns victorious in this game faces the division rival Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
This will be the first time these two teams have met in the postseason since the 2018 ALDS. Boston won that series 3-1 and will look to keep their postseason dominance of New York intact. With two capable starting pitchers taking the mound today, we will look to the more consistent offense for clarification on who to choose.
Icy Hot Yankees
Talk about inconsistent. One minute the Yankees are the hottest team in baseball, and the next, they’re colder than the Arctic ice pack. New York managed to clinch a 2021 playoff berth by preventing the Rays from sweeping them on Sunday by a 1-0 margin.
The New York offense isn’t one to write home about; they average 4.38 runs per game and own a .729 OPS. The two best bats on the roster, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, are the only Yankees creating damage. As with the entire 2021 season, the Yankees are just as inconsistent today as they were at the beginning of the season.
One would expect New York’s starting pitching to be the deciding factor, but Gerrit Cole has not been the same since the Spider Tack crackdown. Since June 3rd, Cole owns a 4.15 ERA and has allowed 19 home runs in 110.1 innings. He has looked even worse over his last three starts, allowing 7.64 ERA with a .329 BAA.
Against Boston this season, Cole has been exposed for a 4.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over four outings. His name carries the weight to make the Yankees a favorite, but his recent performances are not worthy of the juice.
It’s playoff time
Boston was also the epitome of inconsistency this season. At one point, the Red Sox looked like the team to beat in the AL and were firing on all cylinders. Then the second half of the season rolled around, and they dropped games regularly.
They maintained an elite offense the entire season, as they finished with 5.11 runs per game and a .773 OPS, which ranked third in the majors. Boston also finished fourth overall in runs per game and will be facing the extremely streaky Yankees.
Boston will be sending Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to face off against Cole. Although the Yankees lit up Eovaldi in his last start, he handled New York in his four previous starts against them. He owns a 2.13 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP against the Yankees this season, and this season he finished with a 2.79 FIP, making him one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Yankees vs. Red Sox prediction and pick
Pitching should be a wash in this game as both Cole and Eovaldi are elite in various aspects and should handle business accordingly. The most significant factor in this game comes down to offensive capabilities. The Yankees are wildly inconsistent on offense and are currently relying on Judge and Stanton for firepower.
The Red Sox have hitters across the entire lineup and boast one of the most explosive offenses this season. With Boston at home and as an underdog in this matchup, the value lies with the Red Sox moneyline at +110 on FanDuel Sportsbook.
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