The Red Sox and Yankees face each other again this week. Last time in Fenway the Red Sox swept the Yankees to close the gap in the standings. The Red Sox are currently 1 game behind the Yanks in the AL East. If a healthy Ace Jon Lester decides to show up in the Bronx the Red Sox have a shot of taking 2 of 3 or sweeping the Yankees.
Jon Lester (7-2, 3.94) vs. Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34)
Prediction: Randy Picks: Red sox Win Brad Picks: Sox Win
The Good: On paper this game looks like it should be a big giant Win for the Red Sox. However, as all good sox fans know Lester has really been struggling over his last 5 or 6 starts. His ERA has been climbing and he has become too reliant on his devastating cutter. This all sounds bad right? Wrong the Red Sox offense has given him 9.2 runs per game on avg. Now we know that is never going to hold up all year or even this game, but the Red Sox offense has really picked up the pace!
The Bad: Seed the good. Lester may not need to be dominant, but he better not give up much more than 3 runs tonight or it will be trouble!
Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.40) vs. A.J. Burnett (6-3, 3.86)
Predictions: Randy Picks: Red Sox Lose Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
The Good: Time Wakefield has looked like he is a 30 something pitcher this year. He has really stepped up in the absences of Dice-k and Lackey. The biggest question mark is how long will he be able to keep this up? Big Papi is coming off of AL Player of the week honors and has a 6 game hit streak coming into the series. Papi has been a great surprise so far this year!
The Bad: Aj Burnett has pitched rather well this year for the Yankees he may be due for a gem against the Sox. Then we go back to the question How will Wake be able to keep this stretch of good start after good start going like he has thus far?
*Josh Beckett (4-2, 2.01) vs. CC Sabathia (7-3, 2.80),
Predictions: Randy Picks Red Sox Win Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
The Good: Here we go!!! The rubber match for these SP's this season. Beckett has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season. He should have 3 or 4 more wins but the offense and bullpen will not hold a lead for this guy. Crawford has only 2 hits in 27 at bats this year against the yankees...how is that good its not but Crawford is turning it around with his clutch game winning hits and first HR at Fenway park this past Sunday as a memeber of the red sox as examples. We are finally starting to see Carl Crawford at his best getting hitting balls in the gaps and on base ! Also the good **Jeter is 14 hits away from 3000 for his career barring an amazing hot streak he will not get it against the Red Sox this series.
The Bad: While Beckett has been the best pitcher this year CC Sabathia is right there with him. With a 2.80 ERA for team that can score runs like the Yankees thats a tough combination. Watch out for Texiara and swisher this series they are really swinging the bat well.
* I will not being doing my jinx pick on Beckett this series. He has been pitching great but the offense isn't helping him. Welcome back Josh i am officially on the bandwagon!
** Anybody else find it crazy that no other NYY has 3000 hits. With all the great ones they have had it boggles my mind. Though one explanation is a bunch of those greats were in WWII for several seasons.