The Boston Red Sox (65-49) will go for their ninth win in a row and attempt to increase their lead in the American League East as small road underdogs at the sportsbooks for Friday's series opener with the New York Yankees (60-53).
The Red Sox have put together a season-high eight-game winning streak, with the past two victories coming on the road in a two-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Betting line: The Yankees opened as -110 favorites (wager $110 to win $100); the total is at 9.5 runs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.
Why the Red Sox Can Pay on the MLB Lines
Boston is playing its best baseball of the season, with seven of the team's eight wins during the streak decided by two runs or more. The Red Sox outscored the Rays by a combined 10-2 in Florida and got a much-needed day off on Thursday.
They open this three-game set looking to make a statement in New York, with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.08 ERA) pitching better lately. The 24-year-old Venezuelan has allowed six runs and 11 hits in 10 innings over his past two starts, walking five and striking out 10 as Boston defeated the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.
Why the Yankees Can Pay on the MLB Lines
One of the Red Sox's weaknesses this season has been playing away from home, with the team sporting a 29-29 road mark. They are much better at Fenway Park (36-20), although the Yankees still found a way to win four of the first six meetings there earlier in the season. In fact, New York is 6-3 in nine meetings with Boston overall this year.
The Yankees are hoping recently acquired starting pitcher Jaime Garcia (5-8, 4.49) can perform better than he did in his debut, on the road against the Cleveland Indians. Garcia is playing for his third team in 2017, and he should be motivated for his first home start.
Smart Betting Pick
New York has owned this series, winning nine of the previous 12 meetings, according to the OddsShark MLB Database. While the Yankees are struggling a bit, this is still the best rivalry in baseball—one they will want to continue dominating. As a small favorite, they are worth backing in this spot.
MLB Betting Trends
The total has gone under in four of Boston's past five games.
Boston is 3-9 in its past 12 games when playing New York.
The total has gone under in six of New York's past nine games.
All MLB lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.
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