Thursday’s AL Tip SheetYankees at Red Sox – 7:10 PM EST
The excitement level for the Yankees (66-35) is at an all-time high with all the runs being scored by this loaded lineup. New York overcame a loss in the series opener at Minnesota to capture the final two games at Target Field, while scoring 24 runs in the two victories. Following Tuesday’s thrilling 14-12 triumph in 10 innings, the Yankees held off the Twins last night, 10-7 as -120 favorites, highlighted by home runs from Edwin Encarnacion, Aaron Hicks, and Gleyber Torres.
New York heads to Fenway Park for the weekend to battle rival Boston as the Red Sox (56-47) couldn’t finish off the sweep of the Rays on Wednesday in a 3-2 loss at Tropicana Field. The Sox split their six-game road trip at Baltimore and Tampa Bay as Boston is in the midst of a 21-game stretch against AL East foes. Eight of the next 11 games are against the Yankees, as the Red Sox have lost six of seven meetings with their arch-rivals, while Boston is hosting New York for the first time this season.
The last matchup between these two squads came in London in late June as the Red Sox were the home team, but were lit up in a pair of losses by allowing 29 runs. The first game saw a rarity as the two starting pitchers didn’t escape the first inning with both Masahiro Tanaka and Rick Porcello allowing six runs apiece. Although the Yankees squandered a 6-0 advantage, New York scored 11 unanswered runs and eventually held off Boston, 17-13 as -155 favorites.
Those two hurlers take the mound this evening at Fenway as Tanaka (7-5, 4.00 ERA) is unbeaten in his last seven starts for New York, although the right-hander’s numbers have dipped in his past four outings. Tanaka has allowed 17 earned runs in his last 19 innings of work, including giving up five runs in an 11-5 victory over Colorado his last time out. The Yankees have split Tanaka’s eight starts away from the Bronx this season, while hitting the OVER in four of his past five road outings.
Porcello (8-7, 5.61 ERA) has been anything but sharp since tossing seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory at Minnesota on June 17. The former Cy Young winner has allowed four runs or more in five straight starts, including giving up six runs on three occasions in this stretch. Porcello has been helped out by tremendous run support of late as the Red Sox have scored 10 runs or more in each of his last four outings, as Boston is 3-0 in his past three trips to the mound.
Twins at White Sox – 8:10 PM EST
Minnesota (61-40) was cruising atop the AL Central for the first half of the season, but the Twins’ lead over the Indians has shrunk to two games heading towards the end of July. The Twins have slumped through a 3-7 stretch since winning the first two contests at Cleveland immediately after the All-Star break, which includes the home series loss to the Yankees. Minnesota’s pitching staff has been tagged for 5, 5, 6, 6, 14, and 10 runs the last six games, while the Twins cashed the OVER in each of the past four contests.
The Twins travel to Chicago to face the White Sox (45-54), whose offense was limited to one run in a pair of losses the last two nights to the Marlins. Chicago has lost 10 of its past 13 games since the All-Star break, while being limited to two runs or less nine times in this stretch. Two of the victories came at Tampa Bay as a sizable underdog, while the Sox have plated nine runs in each of their past two series opening wins against the Rays and Marlins.
AL Cy Young hopeful Lucas Giolito (11-4, 3.12 ERA) began the season on fire, but Chicago is 2-4 in his past six outings since the White Sox won 11 of his first 13 starts. Giolito did rebound from a pair of rough outings against the Cubs and Royals by defeating the Rays, 2-1 as a +145 underdog last Saturday. The right-hander struck out nine batters and allowed one run in 6.2 innings as the Sox scored the tying run in the ninth inning and the go-ahead run in the 10th, while Chicago is 4-0 to the UNDER in his past four starts.
Minnesota counters with Jose Berrios (8-5, 2.96 ERA), who is winless in his past four starts. Berrios didn’t allow a run in 5.2 innings of work in his last outing against Oakland, but the A’s rallied for two ninth inning runs in a 5-4 victory at Target Field last Saturday. The Twins have won six of Berrios’ last seven starts against the White Sox since the beginning of the 2018 season, but the lone loss came on June 28 at Guaranteed Rate Field in a 6-4 defeat as a -185 favorite.
These AL Central rivals have met only six times this season as the Twins have captured four meetings, but the Sox took two of three on the South Side last month.
Rangers at Athletics – 10:07 PM EST
Texas (51-51) was one of the most surprising teams over the first three months of the season as the Rangers were in the AL Wild Card conversation. However, the Rangers have slipped up since beating the Astros twice after the All-Star break by losing nine of their past 10 contests. Texas continues its 10-game road swing in Oakland tonight after dropping two of three to last-place Seattle.
The Athletics (58-45) return to the Bay Area following a 3-4 road swing against a pair of American League division leaders in Minnesota and Houston. The A’s have struggled this season with the Astros by dropping nine of 11 matchups, including two of three at Minute Maid Park the last three days. The lone victory for Oakland came in comeback fashion on Tuesday night when the A’s rallied for three runs in the ninth inning and eventually triumphed in extras, 4-3 as a +135 underdog.
Oakland has won 12 of its last 15 games at the Coliseum since mid-June, including a perfect 5-0 homestand against the Mariners and White Sox after the All-Star break. Brett Anderson (9-5, 3.82 ERA) has been solid lately for the A’s by tossing quality starts in seven of his past eight trips to the mound. Oakland owns a 7-1 mark in that eight-start stretch, which includes a 5-3 victory in Arlington back in early June.
The Rangers have won five of their last nine road series openers, although two of those losses came in their past two series at Houston and Seattle. Ariel Jurado (5-6, 4.92 ERA) has struggled in his last three starts by allowing 16 runs in 15 innings against the Astros twice and the Angels. Jurado has made one career start against Oakland and it wasn’t a memorable one as he lost 6-0 last August as a +205 underdog. The opposing pitcher that night was Anderson, who gave up one hit in seven scoreless innings, as Oakland enters tonight’s contest owning a 6-3 record against Texas in 2019.
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