With a fantastic 79-62 record, the Boston Red Sox currently lead the AL East, but the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Yankees are vying for postseason berths as well. Even though Boston’s rotation looks much different than it did in April, it’s been effective nevertheless. Rick Porcello has been one of the biggest surprises of the season with his 20 wins, and David Price has gotten back on track after a rough start to his season. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and the soon-to-retire David Ortiz continue to lead arguably the best offensive team in the league to victory after victory. This is a team that no opposing pitcher wants to face, especially on the road.
The Yankees have been the unsolved mystery of the MLB this season. Despite losing team centerpieces like Carlos Betran, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman, New York is 76-65 prior to Sunday’s games and just three back of the division lead. Even if they can’t win this series and pass the Red Sox, the Yankees have a decent chance of grabbing a wild card. Rookie Gary Sanchez has been a revelation for this Yankees squad, hitting .341 with 13 home runs and 24 RBIs in only 35 games. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda lead a formidable pitching staff, though neither of them will start on Sunday. They're 5-7 against the Red Sox this season, and 2-4 at Fenway.
The Red Sox will send out their ace David Price to oppose the Yankees on Sunday. He’s earned the victory in his last six starts, and owns a 15-8 record on the season. His 3.07 post-All-Star-break ERA is much improved from his 4.34 mark prior to that. He’s 1-2 against the Yanks this season, but that lone victory came at home. The Yankees have hit Price historically well, with 10 different players all hitting over .300 against him in their careers.
For New York, veteran southpaw C.C. Sabbathia will make the start on the road. He has a 4.27 ERA and an 8-12 record in 2016, and lost his only start against the Red Sox. However, Sabbathia has actually pitched better on the road this year to the tune of a 6-4 record and a 3.34 ERA. Mookie Betts has a .500 batting average against C.C., but most of the other Red Sox starters have not hit him well.
- Sports.net’s top tip: This is an incredibly important game for both teams, but it’s hard to get past the lopsided pitching matchup. Take the Red Sox to win 8-5.