What bettors need to know: Yankees at Red Sox
TIME: 7:10 PM EST
WHERE: Fenway Park, Boston
LINE: -105, -101 TOTAL: 9.5
While there are nearly three full months left in the regular season, the New York Yankees can take a big step toward burying their bitter rival when they visit Fenway Park for a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox starting Friday night. The Yankees have a 5 1/2-game lead atop the American League East and hold a 7 1/2-game cushion over the Red Sox, who are a middling 21-21 at home and were pounded by New York in two meetings at Fenway in April.
The Yankees went 20-7 in June, including a 10-game winning streak, to take control of the division. Robinson Cano has not cooled off in July, extending his hitting streak to 11 games and RBI streak to eight games to help the Yankees avoid a three-game sweep at Tampa Bay. The Red Sox limp home after being swept three games in Oakland to cap a desultory 2-5 road trip. Boston managed only five runs and 16 hits in the three games against the Athletics.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, YES (New York), NESN (Boston)
WEATHER: Temperatures are projected to be in the high 70's by game time with the wind blowing out to the Green Monster in left at 6 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Hiroki Kiroda (8-7, 3.17 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Josh Beckett (4-7, 4.06 ERA)
Kuroda tossed a gem last time out, blanking the Chicago White Sox on three hits and tying a career high with 11 strikeouts over seven innings. He has won his last two starts and is 5-1 in his last seven outings, surrendering a total of nine runs during that span. He was a 2-0 loser in his only start against Boston while with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010.
Beckett came off the disabled list to hold the Seattle Mariners to two runs on four hits in six innings last time out, but he remained winless (0-3) in his last five starts. He was outstanding against the Yankees last year, going 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts. Cano is batting .324 (23-for-71) with three homers, nine doubles and 13 RBIs lifetime against Beckett.
1. Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list after aggravating a thumb injury.
2. Cano's RBI streak is three shy of the franchise record shared by Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.
3. The Yankees claimed OF Darnell McDonald on waivers. He was cut loose by the Red Sox at the end of last month.
BETTING NOTES & TRENDS
Under is 7-0 in Red Sox last 7 overall
Yankees are 8-1 in their last 9 games following an off day
Yankees are 2-5 in Kuroda's last 7 road starts
Red Sox are 10-22 in their last 32 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
Red Sox are 0-6 in their last 6 games as an underdog
Red Sox are 0-4 in their last 4 during game 1 of a series