The Look Ahead – AL Wildcard

AL: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox, 8:08 first pitch 

Pitching Probable’s: Cole (NY) vs. Eovaldi (Bos) 

2,430 games have been played to their conclusion over the course of this 2021 MLB season. 162 for each of the 30 teams. After Sunday – the day of game 162 – the dust has settled, Jeff Passan’s hope for chaos has been averted, and we have been left with the best of the rest. 10 teams each with one goal: win a World Series. Starting with tonight’s solo showing of the AL Wildcard round and running through the final game of this 2021 Postseason, we will be giving select games in each round a look ahead including best bets, parlay options and more. Feel free to comment on social and let @SportsShiftMedia know what you think as the games get underway.

 As is the case every Postseason, each team is riding it’s own story of triumphs and tribulations. For two teams in particular that will begin anew tonight and continue to fan the flames of an age-old sports rivalry. The Boston Red Sox will play host to the New York Yankees tonight in what figures to add another exciting chapter to the always fiery relationship between these two baseball powerhouses. This time around in particular will have added flavor as it is the first time the two will face off in a solo winner-take-all situation. 

Boston will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound. Eovaldi finished with an 11-9 record on the season sporting a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. While these numbers certainly don’t pop off the page, his career Postseason numbers do: six games with a  2-1 record, 1.61 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. The career Postseason WHIP is of note, given the power of the Yankees. Keeping runners off base will be key for limiting a Pinstripe lineup that clubbed 222 homeruns during the regular season (good for sixth in all of baseball). Eovaldi gave up 15 big fly’s over 182.1 innings this season, made his first All-star game, and comes into this outing with Postseason experience having previously won a title with the 2018 Red Sox. 

Boston’s lineup will have it’s work cutout for them, as Gerrit Cole will stand opposing them. Cole finished with a 3.23 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, striking out a stellar 243 batters along the way and forcing himself into the back end of the AL Cy Young debate. To his credit Cole has also been a force in October as well tossing 13 games with a 2.68 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. The big right-hander will try and slow down a Boston lineup that finished just shy of their own, sending 219 baseballs into the stands.  

FanDuel: Yankees -126, Red Sox +108 

The Yankees are favored across the majority of sports books coming into the game, with the cover being 1.5. Generally speaking, taking the cover for either side can be difficult in a sport were failing 70% of the time is considered top of the league. Runs will be at a premium in the postseason, so our advice is to stay away from pre-game covers or out-right winners and instead play the live odds. Both of these lineups have struggled at times, with the Yankees in particular battling for large portions of the season to get runners on base ahead of their big power bats. 

Advice – Hammer the Red Sox cover if they jump out to an early multi-run lead. With the Yankees struggles to put together large single inning scoring outputs, a Red Sox cover should be a good opportunity if they can get out front early. On the flip side, take the Yankees to cover anything within the 1.5-2 range mid-to-late game. A small cover margin will leave the odds wide open for a solo homerun to bust the cover in a back door situation. 

The most intriguing player props sit with Giancarlo Stanton, Cole and Eovaldi. Stanton has a tremendous +1.000 career OPS in the Postseason and has homeruns in two straight elimination games – no player in history has hit a homerun in three straight games of this type.  

Advice – Take a flyer on Stanton’s odds to both record a hit and hit a homerun. Stanton has shown a love of the theatrics this season with his homerun and words for Francisco Lindor in the Subway series, as well as in his latest series against the Red Sox. He also carries a .259 average with two homeruns and seven RBI in 27 career AB against Eovaldi – good for a .831 OPS. Cole and Eovaldi’s U/O K totals stand out as another area to sprinkle something on. Cole’s in particular sits at 7.5, with the over coming in around +100. Hammer it, then do it again. Cole is striking out 11.6 batters per nine-innings and averages around 6 2/3 innings pitched in his postseason career. Eovaldi on the other hand is showing at 6.5. The over is not as enticing as Cole’s but at +130 against a Yankee lineup that loves to swing and miss, it’s worth a look. 

Best Bets – The Red Sox live bet if they jump out early, the Yankee cover late given the margin, Cole’s over on Ks. 

A Postseason game of any nature with the Yankees and Red Sox pinned against each other is must-see TV. A winner-take-all one and down game? Sign us up and be prepared for the unexpected and strange to happen. We’ll see y’all on the other side. 

About @757JoeyWalsh 8 Articles
A highly involved sports writer with passion for it. MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL fanatic. Sports are simply what I do.

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