Network Notebook: Yankees/Red Sox Series Preview

YANKEES, RED SOX RETURN FROM BREAK WITH HUGE 4-GAME SERIES AT FENWAY

Finally, the New York Yankees have posted their probable pitchers for this weekend's four-game set with the Boston Red Sox. So...finally...we can preview the series for you!

Luis Severino had tentatively been penciled in for Friday's opener at the time first odds were posted. But, he's been pushed back a day. Jordan Montgomery goes Friday night. Don't forget that there's a double-header Sunday. Your "rotation" schedules may not have accounted for the make-up of a previously postponed game.

Let's get to it! Huge series with the top two teams in the AL East squaring off...and it also has Wildcard ramifications because the recently struggling Yankees are in a very tight race for one of those two spots. We start on offense with JIM HURLEY'S key indicator stats for the teams.

TEAM QUALITY
NY Yankees: +98 runs, while playing 43 home games and 43 road games
Boston: +65 runs, while playing 39 home games and 50 road games

The Yankees have the better run-differential. But, a lot of that was front-loaded with their great play earlier in the season. They were once 15 games over .500 and in seeming control of the division. They're not playing nearly as well now as plus 98 would suggest. We discussed earlier this week that Boston has played 11 more road games than home games. So, they're really positioned to make a charge into the playoffs. They'd better start taking advantage here.

TEAM OFFENSE
NY Yankees
: 5.5 runs-per-game, .344 on-base, .450 slugging
Boston: 4.8 runs-per-game, .340 on-base, .419 slugging

Once again, a full season edge to the Yankees that may not be relevant any more. The Yankees have cooled down (though pitching has been a big culprit). We also have to note that the Yanks took full advantage of the early season jet stream that launches fly balls over the short right field porch. Prevailing winds aren't always so friendly in the Bronx, which is why their slugging percentage may drop back to earth in the coming weeks. In terms of "pure" offense "right now" at Fenway Park. we're probably pretty close to even.

Moving now to probable pitchers...

FRIDAY
Montgomery
: 3.65 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.6 K's per 9 innings
Pomeranz: 3.60 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 9.8 K's per 9 innings

Nice matchup to get things started. Pomeranz puts more opponents on base, but gets more strikeouts. It all comes out in the wash the same. Tough to make a call here unless you want to keep fading the Yankees during their slump. History has shown that the All-Star Break can be a streak-buster in either direction. Flailing teams get some time away from each other, which is good news. Hot teams lose their momentum. Tough to pick without any inside word.

SATURDAY
Severino
: 3.54 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 10.5 K's per 9 innings
Sale: 2.75 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 12.6 K's per 9 innings

Sale is having a Cy Young season, while Severino continues to mystify gamblers (and fans) with outings that are either over his head, or not worthy. Clear edge to the hosts. But, Sale's not going to be a bargain at home any time soon in Las Vegas pricing.

SUNDAY (Game 1)
Mitchell: first start of season, 5.06 ERA in relief
Porcello: 4.75 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 8.2 K's per 9 innings

Really tough spot for the Yankees, who have to go with a long reliever against last year's Cy Young winner. Granting that Porcello isn't in good form this season. He's still likely to be better than Mitchell. An Over would be an auto-bet if the teams didn't have to save themselves for a prime time TV spot in the nightcap. Still worth thinking about if weather is helping.

SUNDAY (Game 2)
Tanaka: 5.47 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 9.1 K's per 9 innings
Price: 3.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 8.5 K's per 9 innings

Tanaka continues to pitch with a questionable arm, which became an even dicier decision when it turned out the balls were juiced! Price is moving in the right direction after shaking off some recent rust. Another situation where you have to determine if the market is overpricing the home favorite in a rivalry. Note that the Yankees have to catch a plane for Minnesota after the game, while Boston stays home to greet Toronto.

JIM HURLEY has great sources with both teams, and will be doing his level best to get you a major release in this series. NETWORK doesn't force selections just because games are going to be on TV. We happily take value whenever the oddsmakers are handing away FREE MONEY!

You can always purchase BEST BETS from NETWORK right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, please call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453 to take care of business. This is a great time to ask about early-bird football rates. The NFL exhibition slate is less than a month away!

Back with you Monday with what will likely be a preview of that Yankees/Twins series we just mentioned. Both teams still have shots at their division, and are in the thick of the Wildcard race. July baseball is going to be a wild ride...and it will help us build bankroll for the fast-approaching football season.

Your break is OVER. You should be refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!

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