Boston Red Sox vs Yankees
Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, right, celebrates his three-run homer with J.D. Martinez, center, and Xander Bogaerts (2) in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park, Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Degens Only: Friday Plays, July 16

The MLB is back. After three long days of essentially no action, (only one NBA game) we have a full slate of baseball ready to go. It’s time for the MLB playoff races to start heating up and the countdown to the NFL begin, so let’s get it started with today’s top plays.

Boston Bombers: Red Sox ML
Some things are going on in this Yankee organization that are unprecedented. The amount of money that they have spent for the amount of production they have got this year, you can bet some heads are about to roll. As the season grows longer, there are good chances you could actually see this Yankee team become sellers and do it before this season is over, if the price is right. That comes down to how bad someone thinks they’re going to lose their job. The Red Sox and Yankees have played six times so far this season, and it is 6-0 Red Sox, soon to become 7-0 here. Boston has outscored the Yankees 36-17 over their first six meetings and nothing has changed for the Yankees yet, so don’t expect any changes in the results. These players know that these results are not acceptable in New York and that things will change quick if they don’t start winning, but they don’t have the pitching and the offense has disappeared overnight. Boston ranks sixth in batting avg. vs LHP this season and with a short field we could see some balls leaving the yard for the Sox if Montgomery has an All-Star hangover. All signs point to Boston for me, take the Sox on the ML.

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Dry Desert: D backs/Cubs under 9.5
Hendricks takes the hill for the Cubs tonight and after a rough start to the year, he has come on strong and only allowed 25 runs across his last 13 starts. Facing off against a refreshed Bumgarner, who will be making his return from a DL stint. Mad Bum wasn’t himself for a good portion of the first half and finally took a trip to the DL and even admitted that he was pitching through a lot of discomfort for some time which would explain the 41 runs given up in his first 12 starts. He gets a Cubs team that’s at a cross roads and a team that could have used some at bats against an ailing Bumgarner to rebuild some confidence going into the break. The Cubs limped into the break going 2-13 over their last 15 and luckily they get one of the worst teams in baseball to start the second half. With Hendricks pitching against an awful D backs team with already nothing to play with, and a refreshed Bumgarner taking on a struggling offense that just traded away Joc Pederson, roll with the under.

Lost Tribe: A’s F5 -.5
Both of these teams played rather average heading into the break. The difference here is going to be the pitching. Bassitt takes the mound for the A’s and has been dealing before the break only giving up more than two runs one time in his last seven starts, holding opponents to a .217 batting average. For the Indians, young Eli Morgan takes the hill and he has gotten shelled in all five of his starts so far this season. Morgan has never gone longer than five innings and has allowed at least one home run in all five starts and multiple homers In three of the five. Opponents are hitting .315 off Morgan and although this A’s offense has struggled at times, this should be a way to get one of the best second half teams in the game going. Take the A’s F5 -.5

Lone Ranger: Blue Jays -1.5
I’m a big fan of this Blue Jays offense and the team should be in for a big second half as long as the pitching can hold up. In today’s game, the Jays send one of their best guys to the hill to start the second half in Ray. Ray has been solid only allowing 13 runs over his last eight starts notching five wins and holding opposing hitters to an .218 average. Texas is about middle of the pack when it comes to hitting lefties, which should allow Ray to keep the upper hand. Lyles takes the mound for the Rangers and comes into this game not pitching to badly over his last five starts, but will be facing a top 10 team against LHP in the Blue Jays. This Jays offense is going to be too much if not for Lyles than definitely for the Rangers bullpen, take the Jays -1.5.

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