The last pre-All Star Game contest of the 2012 MLB season takes place tonight in Boston as the Yankees and Red Sox meet in a game four battle at Fenway Park. This evening’s contest is scheduled for an 8:05pm ET start on ESPN. The latest MLB Odds have the hosting Red Sox listed as a slight -120 moneyline favorite; the Over/Under in tonight’s game is set at 9.5 runs.
New York cranked out 10 runs on Friday night in taking the first game of its extended set with Boston, and it picked up where it left off yesterday afternoon with a 6-1 victory in the first half of a day-night double header. The Red Sox broke out the heavy lumber in the night cap, though, pounding out 17 hits, including 10 off of Yanks starter Phil Hughes, in route to a 9-5 win.
Boston, now 43-42 and 8.5 games back of New York in the AL East standings, will look for a series tie tonight with lefty hurler Jon Lester on the bump. Lester is having anything but a banner season, with a 5-5 record and 4.33 ERA; however, he has earned a quality start in five of his last six outings. Lester was particularly effective in his last appearance, allowing just four hits and one earned run while striking out nine (6.2 innings) in a 2-3 loss at Oakland.
Lester, who is 8-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 17 career starts against the Yankees, has not pitched well at Fenway this season. The six year veteran is 2-3 in nine home starts (Boston is 3-6 in those outings); his ERA at the legendary Park is a lackluster 5.60.
New York will shoot for a series tie with Ivan Nova toeing the rubber. Nova’s numbers (4.05 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 90 strikeouts) are remarkable similar to Lester’s totals with the exception of wins. The Dominican native is 9-3 in 16 starts and the Yankees 12-4 with Nova on the hill. New York has dropped the 25 year old right handers last two starts, despite Nova allowing a combined 13 hits and four earned runs to the White Sox and Rays.
Tonight marks Nova’s second appearance of the season opposite Boston. He yielded seven hits and two earned runs over six innings in a 6-2 win at Fenway Park on April 20th.
MLB Picks 2012 New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox: Provided by Bovada.lv
New York Yankees +1.5 (-200), Over 9.5 (-115), +100 (Moneyline)
Boston Red Sox -1.5 (+165), Under 9.5 (-115), -120 (Moneyline)