Coming off a split of a doubleheader yesterday, Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees will open up a three-game set with divisional rivals the Boston Red Sox, who sit as +130 road dogs and will be sending Garrett Whitlock to the mound to stop the bleeding of a 1-5 SU streak.
Despite facing an Aaron Judge-less offense, Whitlock is not a pitcher who excels late in games and seldom gets deep. With books offering his total outs market at 16.5, should bettors be backing a less-potent New York lineup tonight?
Here are my free MLB picks and predictions for Red Sox vs. Yankees on Friday, June 9.
Red Sox vs Yankees odds
Red Sox vs Yankees predictions
Garrett Whitlock has made five starts this season and failed to see the sixth inning in 80 percent of them. The Boston starter has elite command, which is why his FIP and WHIP look decent, but he’s been getting hit often and when you add that to a pitcher with average velocity, a low whiff%, and some injuries, he's not a pitcher I’m trusting to pitch deep and efficiently tonight.
The right-hander projects for 85 pitches in an average start, and facing the Yankees at Yankee Stadium could see him exiting before that mark.
New York is still without Aaron Judge, but Giancarlo Stanton is back and got the second game of the doubleheader off yesterday, so he’ll be fresh. New York has scored just 14 runs over four games without Judge but this lineup doesn’t even have to run up the score vs. Whitlock to see him get an early hook.
Whitlock hasn't had any success pitching the third time through the order and has a 1.500 OPS against when batters see him a third time. His OPS also jumps .500 points from pitches 51-to-75 to pitches 76-to-100. This is not a pitcher that gets better later — a reason he doesn’t pitch deep into games.
His total outs should be priced much closer to 15.5 tonight as THE BAT is projecting 15.3 outs and considering his struggles the third time through and the Red Sox in a 1-5 SU funk, Whitlock’s leash could be short again today.
My best bet: Garrett Whitlock Under 16.5 outs (-120)
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Red Sox vs Yankees moneyline analysis
The Yankees opened at -165 last night and find themselves at -150 as of noon today. New York played a doubleheader yesterday and is without Judge, but this pitching matchup is one-sided and could erase the rest edge Boston has coming in.
Gerrit Cole isn't striking out as many batters as he did last season as his K% sits 5.5 points lower this season at 25.9% entering tonight. Cole’s K% hasn’t been below 30% since 2017, but despite the lack of whiffs, Cole has been just as dominant.
New York is 11-2 in his starts this year, and the right-hander has held opponents to a .337 slugging percentage, his lowest mark in six seasons. He does have a 1-mph drop in his fastball compared to last season but batters are hitting 22 points worse this season (.191) off of it than last year.
Cole is still a stud and can win this game with just three runs of support, which could be easy with Whitlock on the mound. He did leave his last start early but that was reported as just cramps and shouldn't be a factor tonight.
The Boston starter is like most average starting pitchers that struggle later in games. Whitlock has a short leash because he gets hit harder the third time through the order with a .353/.400./.765 slash line when batters see him a third time in a game. The right-hander has gone more than 15 outs just once this year and has also dealt with recent elbow and hip injuries this season.
The difference between Cole and Whitlock is massive and much bigger than the slight edge the Boston offense has. Yes, New York had two games yesterday and might not have Michael King and Ron Marinaccio, but Cole is projected to go Over 18 outs and might leave just six outs for a strong bullpen that has Tommy Kahnle back.
I understand the market moving towards the Red Sox on the surface with the double-header and Judge’s absence, but I think at -150, it’s time to buy back on the better pitching matchup and a Cy Young odds candidate.
Red Sox vs Yankees Over/Under analysis
This total opened at 8, hit 8.5 at some sharp books, but has settled back to 8 leaning to the Over.
The setting is a huge part of tonight’s total handicap as the temperatures have cooled down and a slight wind will be blowing in. The air quality has also been awful of late and although the air quality isn’t what was on Wednesday, there could certainly still be some particles in the air from the fires up north. It might play a small edge if any, but there could be more drag in the air at Yankee Stadium.
There are other reasons to like the Under, as well.
First, the better offense in the Red Sox has the tougher pitching matchup vs a pitcher who is not giving up extra-base hits and is keeping the ball in the park with a HR/FB ratio at his best rate since 2016.
Next is the New Yok offense that is missing Judge and coming off a doubleheader yesterday. Although Stanton had a game off, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a key bat get a rest today. Again, Cole can win this game with three runs of support, but this offense isn’t going to hang seven runs today as the Boston bullpen has some high-quality arms to match a solid New York bullpen that might only need six outs.
Red Sox vs Yankees game info
|Location:||Yankee Stadium, New York, NY|
|Date:||Friday, June 9, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:05 p.m. ET|
Garrett Whitlock (2-2, 5.61 ERA): Whitlock is making his sixth start of the season tonight as he has dealt with elbow and hip injuries this season. He’s recorded more than 15 outs just once and the Red Sox are 3-2 SU when he starts. THE BAT is projecting 84 pitches, 15.3 outs, 4.51 strikeouts, and 2.64 earned runs.
Gerrit Cole (7-0, 2.82 ERA): Cole comes in as the No.2 betting favorite for the AL Cy Young (+425) and is coming off a start where he threw just 80 pitches and had to exit due to cramping vs. the Dodgers. His K% is down this season but he’s keeping the ball in the park at a better rate than last year and not giving up hard contact with a .337 SLG% against, which is his best mark as a Yankee. The Yankees are 11-2 SU when he starts this year and THE BAT projects 101 pitches, 18.5 outs, 7.01 strikeouts, and 2.58 earned runs.
Trend to know
The Yankees are 9-0 in Cole’s last nine Friday starts. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Yankees