Time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Where to watch: Apple TV+
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Yankees -205, Red Sox +175
FanDuel: Yankees -2`5, Red Sox +185
BetMGM: Yankees -208, Red Sox +170
Caesars: Yankees -220, Red Sox +180
Red Sox: 72-77
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Red Sox - Yankees preview and analysis
One can only think that the New York Yankees lost their chance to be considered the favorites in the American League a while ago. If not for that slip-up midway through the season, maybe we’d take them more seriously to win the World Series.
But so long as Aaron Judge is doing what he’s doing and so long as the Yankees are finding ways to win games, we can’t count the Yankees out of winning another world championship. That’s not to say Judge’s chase to pass Roger Maris is the end-all, be-all for the Yankees’ championship pursuits, but given how close the Yankees came Thursday night to having history along with a win should tell you the mojo they’re building.
Judge was inches away from hitting a walk-off homer that would’ve been No. 61, but the Yankees still won 5-4 against the Boston Red Sox at home on Thursday and clinched a playoff spot in the process. Next up is the AL East title, which is likely to happen within the next few games.
Josh Donaldson hit a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning to get the victory and cap off what has been an eventful season for the Yankees in terms of offensive production. At least the Yankees are closing on a bye in the playoffs. Once they clinch the division, it’s only a matter of time.
“It’s not over yet, but the chance that we get the opportunity to play some postseason baseball is going to be fun,” Donaldson said. “I thought Judgie had it with a homer, but it was nice to be able to come through for the team.”
Judge’s deep fly to center in the ninth came just a few feet short before being caught at the wall. He’s going to be the AL MVP and is closing in on a Triple Crown season. But for the Yankees, who have had countless playoff failures over the past few years and knowing they may not get a better chance to win a title than this year, know that the job isn’t over.
“There was a lot of hard work over the course of the season to get to this point,” Judge said. “But I think you can ask anybody in this room -- the job’s not finished.”
Judge has 13 games remaining to tie Maris, and it’s almost assuredly going to happen. And should it happen against the Red Sox, that might be the icing on the cake.
“Deep fly ball to center field. When he hits it, he’s a good hitter and a big guy. I don’t know. I thought it had a chance,” said Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes, who avoided following in the footsteps of Tracy Stallard, the Boston pitcher who gave up No. 61 to Maris in 1961.
Talk about irony.
The Red Sox have been a ridiculous down year, including a 20-42 run against division opponents this year. The Yankees have taken advantage to go 40-26 against AL East teams, and that’s the big difference in this season.
The Yankees have been favored in almost every game this year, going 84-47 when favored by at least -110 or higher. At -200 or higher, it’s 29-7. With the division title, and Judge’s historic season in reach, the Yankees won’t be messing around any time soon. Yankees win 7-5
Red Sox are 4-9 as a road underdog of +150 or more this season.
Yankees are 26-15 against left-handed starters this season.
Yankees are 23-4 as a home favorite this season.
Tommy Pham (R) LF
Rafael Devers (L) 3B
Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
Alex Verdugo (L) RF
J.D. Martinez (R) DH
Triston Casas (L) 1B
Enrique Hernandez (R) CF
Yu Chang (R) 2B
Connor Wong (R) C
Aaron Judge (R) RF
Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
Giancarlo Stanton (R) DH
Oswaldo Cabrera (S) LF
Harrison Bader (R) CF
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R) SS
Kyle Higashioka (R) C
Batting average: Xander Bogaerts -- .314
Home runs: Rafael Devers -- 27
RBI: Rafael Devers -- 84
Wins: Michael Wacha -- 11
ERA: Nick Pivetta -- 4.35
Batting average: Aaron Judge -- .316
Home runs: Aaron Judge -- 60
RBI: Aaron Judge -- 128
Wins: Jameson Taillon -- 13
ERA: Gerrit Cole -- 3.41
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