Unfocused Yanks Stumble Into Beantown For Crucial 4-Game Set

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Red Sox lefty Brian Johnson will face the Yanks tonight at Fenway Park in Boston
Red Sox pitcher Brian Johnson will start tonight in place of Chris Sale who was recently placed on the 10-day DL. It will be his first career start against the Yankees. Photo credit: Keith Allison.

Ya gotta wanna. I don’t know where that phrase originated, but one thing is clear. It does not seem to apply to the 2018 New York Yankees. You simply do not let an inferior opponent beat you — and beat you consistently. That means either *you* are the inferior team, or you lack the desire to win.
 
And how could this club be upset at the lack of hustle on the part of Gary Sanchez when the whole team mails in a game? Yesterday’s cluster at The Stadium should result in a refund for anyone who purchased a ticket. Sure, they made it interesting at the end but they shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place.
 

CC vs The Sawx

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Tonight will be Sabathia’s (6-4, 3.53 ERA) 19th career start in Fenway Park, posting a 7-5 record with a 4.84 ERA and a WHIP of 1.532. Since the 2015 season, The Big Man ($5,500) has had 4 starts in Fenway with solid results, pitching to a record of 2-0, 3.21 ERA over 23 innings while holding hitters to a .239 mark.
 
Who might give CC a hard time tonight? Our ducats are on Mookie Betts ($6,000) (12-29, .429 with 3 doubles and 4 walks), Steve Pearce ($4,000) (11-36, ,306 with 2 home runs and 3 doubles), and the newly acquired Ian Kinsler ($4,600) (10-39, .256 with 2 home runs and 1 double.)
 
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A further reason to consider drafting Betts is his success against New York’s vaunted bullpen. He’s hitting.300 against Betances, .429 against Chapman, and .333 against D-Rob. Small samples but solid numbers. Guess who has Betts’ number? That’s right, Sonny Gray — who was just moved out of the starting rotation to the ‘pen this afternoon.! 2-18 with 3 strikeouts. Go figure.
 
Last August in Fenway, CC tossed a gem against Chris Sale and Tyler Austin‘s 3-run blast cemented a dramatic victory for New York. Sabathia has faced Boston twice so far this season, both at Yankee Stadium. On May 10th, he had a no decision in a 5-4 loss to the Sox. On June 29th, he threw 7 strong innings in a 8-1 Yankees victory.
 
Over the years, Sabathia has come up big in games where the Yankees needed to make a statement and this is certainly one of them. If New York kicks off this series with a loss, things could get ugly. As in leaving Boston 9.5 games back in the AL East ugly.
 

Brian Johnson vs Yanks

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Brian Johnson ($5,500) (1-3, 3.45 ERA) is a 27-year old left-hander who was a first round draft pick (2012) by the Red Sox. He made his MLB debut July 21, 2015. He’s been up and down between Pawtucket and the big club since, and has stuck so far in different roles with the Red Sox in 2018.
 
Who’s swinging the bat for the Bronx Bombers? Gleyber Torres ($4,700), Miguel Andujar ($4,500), and Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100). We’re expecting some fireworks at Fenway over the weekend from each. Also, Didi Gregoruis ($4,900) will have a say in the outcome as well.
 

The Wise Guys

Even Sale out of the equation the outcome remains in Boston’s favor, with a the Red Sox as the slight favorite in a -110 moneyline. The under/over is a Fenway Park-esque 10 runs. The Yankees are 2-5 in their last 7 games at Fenway, and 2-4 in their last 6 games on the road. New York is also 5-5 this season as a road underdog, but the best in MLB after a loss, with a 28-8 mark. The main intangible is that it’s simply a Yankees-Red Sox game where anything can and likely will happen.
 
Remember this is for speculation only, not meant to be taken as gospel. And don’t forget to double-check your lineup(s) just prior to game time as the weather may create havoc for you. We exist under the manta that “You can’t predict baseball” but it’s fun trying. Good luck with your lineup and let’s go Yankees!

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