New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner
New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner, center, right fielder Aaron Judge, left, and left fielder Joey Gallo, right, celebrate after the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Red Sox vs Yankees, Sept. 24

Kyle Barrette

One of the oldest and most looked forward to rivalries in sports is back again tonight.  The Red Sox and Yankees square off in Game 1 of a series that could end up sending the other packing out of the Wild Card. Both teams are currently in the top two spots in the Wild Card. The Red Sox are up two games, and the Yankees just regained the last spot and sit only a half-game ahead of Toronto. Toronto is the only team to worry about. The Mariners are making a late surge and have now leapfrogged the A’s but remain 2 games back of the last spot. Both the Sox and Yankees have been on fire, New York is 7-3 in their last 10 and Boston is 8-2 and has won seven straight. The rivalry will be renewed tonight at Fenway and how fitting that it may come down to this for one of these teams to miss the postseason.

Battering Sox: Red Sox
The thing that jumps out right off the bat, no pun intended, is the amount of runs the Sox have been putting up during this seven-game win streak. They scored their lowest total in a game on this win streak on Tuesday and that was 6 runs. The Red Sox have outscored their opponents 59-26 and a majority of it has been on this massive eight game home stand that this series will take place in. Now, as a disclaimer, three of these games were against the Orioles and two were against the Mets. Eovaldi will be on the mound for the Sox. He has been dominant against the Yankees this season, in his five starts he has only allowed eight runs. The Yankees have been able to hit Eovaldi but the Sox defense has not allowed it to turn into many runs. Evoaldi has allowed over seven hits in four of the five games but those never turned into more than two runs. The way the Red Sox have been swinging the bats, if Eovaldi can pitch the way he has been recently, the Sox will have a good shot at taking game one of this series.

The Bombers Return: Yankees
It has been a tale of two halves versus these Red Sox for the Yankees this season. In the first half of the season, the Yankees were beat down by the Sox and we’re down 6-0 in the season series. The Bombers have gone 6-4 against the Sox in the second half of the season and have taken the last three games. The Yankees are bringing out their 300-million-dollar man in Gerrit Cole to try and slow down the Sox in this one. Cole has seen Boston three times this season and two out of the three went as expected for the Yankees ace. Cole seemed to figure out Red Sox hitters as he posted 25 strikeouts against them in his three combined starts. Cole can lay the groundwork for the Yankees and keep them in the game, but the Yankees are going to have to overcome their struggles against Evoaldi to avoid slipping out of the wildcard and ultimately out of the playoffs.

Red Sox vs Yankees: The Pick
With all the implications on this game, the rivalry and the playoff push, the stakes will be heightened here. We’re going with the F5 under here. Cole has unmatched strikeout power that has been on display against Boston in his three starts so far this season. Eovaldi has just had the Yankees number all season and I think everyone knows it and that is why he has made five starts against them. As the saying goes, ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’. Look for Eovaldi to make it a solid sixth start against New York and take the First 5 under.

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