JP's Game of the Day 7/31
Game of the Day: Boston Red Sox (+160) @ New York Yankees (-180) O/U 10.5
SP: Ryan Weber (RHP)
2019 Quick Look: 5.09 ERA / 4.56 xFIP / 6.42 K/9
2020 Stats: 14.73 ERA / 9.48 xFIP / 3.2 IP / 0 K
Well, let’s begin by saying this not the classic Red Sox – Yankees matchup we are used to. With legends on both sides either retired or moved on to other teams, we’re looking at a completely different lineup than we would have seen a few years ago. For New York, this is a great thing. They boast arguably one of the most terrifying lineups in Major League history, with DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton making up the core of a downright scary top four. Each of these perennial All Stars – and really perennial MVP candidates, when healthy – can change the game on their own at any moment, as we saw twice last night with a 5-run Yanks first inning and 3-run 9th inning, anchored by an absolute nuke from Aaron Judge. There was some concern that Torres would miss today’s game after Orioles SP John Means drilled him in the elbow, but all X-Rays came back negative and he’s right back in the 3-hole. Gary Sanchez is getting the night off, but the way he’s been hitting, it may not be the worst thing in the world to have an unfamiliar face in the order. As far as Weber goes, this isn’t someone I’m afraid of in the least. He’s a low-strikeout, bottom-tier right-handed starter, AKA the kind of guy who typically doesn’t last for long stints in the Major League or deep into games, particularly against the Yankees. He got torn apart by the Orioles last week (statline read: 3.2 IP / 6 H / 3 BB / 6 ER / 0 K… sheesh), and now will go from facing a bottom-three lineup to the best lineup in baseball. This is not a spot where I’m super encouraged with his prospects, to say the least. Weber split time between AAA and MLB last year, throwing just 40.2 innings in the big league to the tune of a 5.09 ERA / 4.56 xFIP. He almost certainly wouldn’t have a Major League job right now if the Red Sox hadn’t lost David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, and other key arms to injury/trade. The Sox threw almost every one of their regular relievers for 30+ pitches in a near collapse against the Mets last night, and I expect them to be turning to their lower-end bullpen arms in a game that could get ugly in a hurry.
SP: Jordan Montgomery
2019 Quick Look: 6.75 ERA / 3.20 xFIP / 4.0 IP (coming off injury)
2020 Steamer Projection: 4.71 ERA / 4.85 FIP / 45 IP
Montgomery is certainly a bit of an unknown, but where Weber is a known (bad) commodity, Montgomery provides some intriguing upside. He was actually borderline outstanding as a rookie, posting a 3.88 ERA / 4.07 FIP in 29 starts for the Yankees, but injuries limited his subsequent two seasons and he’s finally making his way back to the bigs. He looked healthy and extremely effective in both Spring Training and Summer Camp, suggesting that he’s not only moved past the injury woes, but is regaining the form that carried him to a spot in the Yankees rotation as a rookie. Boston is known for hitting lefties well – especially Bogaerts and Martinez – but the rest of their lineup looks so awful right now that it’s difficult to place any trust in them at all. They looked pretty timid vs Steven Matz last night, with the only damage coming off the bat of Christian Vazquez and very little other than that. Rafael Devers looks lost at the plate, and a bottom of the order with Verdugo and Bradley Jr. left-on-left isn’t particularly scary, especially when coupled with Jose Peraza. These Red Sox just aren’t the same as the group we have a mental image of, and they’re honestly lucky to be sitting at 3-4 after the Mets failed to capitalize on about 25 combined baserunners over two games. Furthermore, the Yanks should have top-tier relievers Adam Ottavino and Zach Britton available again tonight, as both have only thrown twice this season and threw just 12 pitches in the game against the Orioles last night. This season is too short to be wasting games, so if it’s close going down the stretch, you can expect to see Aaron Boone bring in the big guns to finish the game off. Montgomery has been throwing extended outings in scrimmages and exhibition games, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him go 6 in this one before turning it over to the pen. If he is that effective, this game won’t even be close. New York will provide ample cushion to give Montgomery some margin for error, so a gem from him is just icing on the cake.
1: Yankees -1.5 (-105) 3U
2: Yankees TT OV 5.5 (-130) 2U
3: F5 OV 6 (-120) 2U