Yankees at Red Sox Preview

Frank Doyle | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Rays Red Sox Baseball

Frank Doyle wonders if a four game sweep of the Angels will give Boston just the boost it needs before You-Know-Who arrives at Fenway Park tonight.

Boston has had an awful start to the season. Paul Testa is getting teased on the excellent Fire Brand blog for hitting the panic button after the Sox lost to the Orioles, but maybe Boston was in slump because baseball is actually quite a hard game to play? It’s like the man says – you win 54 games, you lose 54 games, and the other 54 games determine whether or not you have a job next year.

Not that the Red Sox nation will be safe from despair this weekend if the Sox get pounded out of Fenway Park this weekend. Nothing causes more anguish in Boston that the sight of pinstripes and, although the Rays currently top the AL East, the Yankees look like the class of the division. Again.

The first game tonight could set the tone for the series. The Red Sox send ace Josh Beckett, 1-0, 6.31 ERA, to the hill against the Yankees’ Phil Hughes, 3-0, 1.44 ERA. The Yankees chased Beckett in the first game of the year a month ago at Fenway but an ace remains an ace and, although Hughes’ numbers are those of a man in form, nobody will be taking Beckett lightly for some time to come.

Saturday’s matchup is likely to see the Yankees much more favored for MLB betting than the night before as New York’s CC Sabathia, 4-1, 2.74 ERA, pitches against Boston’s Clay Buchholz, 3-2, 2.97 ERA. The Yankees’ paid an awful lot of money for Sabathia and he’s been worth every cent.

On Sunday the Yankees will give AJ Burnett, 4-0, 1.99 ERA, the ball, another man who has entirely justified the organisation’s faith in him. Burnett faces Boston’s Jon Lester, 2-2, 3.93 ERA, who’s been shaky this year but then, so has the rest of team.

The Yankees’ four core veterans, recently the stars of a Sports Illustrated cover story, are beginning to show signs of rust and the bullpen looks a little wobbly, but the pinstriped starting pitchers will bring serious heat to Fenway Park this weekend. Can the Boston batting withstand the initial barrage to fight back against the Yankee bullpen later in the game? That’s the key to this series.