7:05 p.m. ET: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees: OVER 8 (-110) at BetMGM
The New York Yankees will host the Boston Red Sox on Friday night to break the seal on the rivalry for 2023, and I am enthusiastically backing the over. Last season, the Red Sox and Yankees combined for eight or more runs in 13 of 19 matchups.
Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees, a pitcher who has struggled with the Red Sox historically — but especially in 2022. He posted an ERA of 5.59 against Boston last season, and all five of his starts saw more than eight combined runs scored. Cole is due for plenty of negative regression, anyway. His xERA of 3.85 is more than a full number higher than his actual figure, and he's surrendered five or more earned runs in three of his last six starts.
Garret Whitlock gets the start for Boston, a pitcher who has allowed four or more runs in three of his last five. Whitlock has also pitched to an ERA of 7.07 on the road, and it doesn't take an expert to know that Yankee Stadium will be a charged environment on Friday night.
Neither bullpen is in great shape, either. New York had to play a doubleheader with the White Sox on Thursday, while Boston was pounded and allowed 10 runs in Cleveland before landing in New York very late at night.
7:05 p.m. ET: New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates: OVER 9 (-104) at BetRivers
The New York Mets are heading to Pittsburgh to begin a three-game series between two teams that have each been embarrassed so far this week. New York blew three straight leads of three runs or more while being swept in Atlanta, the most emphatic instance coming in Thursday night's 13-10 loss after Ozzie Albies' three-run walk-off homer in the 10th. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, lost two of three to the consensus worst team in baseball (Oakland) at home.
The Mets' bullpen (20th in ERA since May 9) is absolutely gassed, and it doesn't help that Tylor Megill (5-3, 4.40 ERA) will toe the rubber in Friday's opener. Megill's xERA is a terrible 5.80, and he posted a 5.28 ERA in the month of May while averaging less than five innings per start.
Sure, he posted a much better result in his first June start (5.1 innings, 1 earned run vs. Toronto), but a look under the hood shows that he walked five more batters and surrendered five hits, stranding an unsustainable number of baserunners to preserve what could have been an ugly outing.
Pittsburgh is sending wildly inconsistent lefty Rich Hill to the mound, a pitcher somehow missing just enough bats at 43 years old to keep his spot in the rotation. But he's more than due for negative regression. Hill's 5.44 xERA is a full run higher than his actual ERA, and he's allowing the highest expected batting average (xBA) of his career at .281.
New York has been above average (109 wRC+) against lefties since May 1 and should be able to break into the Pirates bullpen (18th in ERA since May 9) before long.
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This article was originally published by Betting Predators and is part of a Stadium Talk partnership with Betting Predators, a sports betting media/podcast platform with a hunger and drive to make sports bettors more successful bettors.
Dalton Brown writes MLB sports betting content for Betting Predators. Follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonOnSports.
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