Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB Picks column for Friday, October 5th. The Braves offense didn’t hold up their end of the deal for the over on Thursday, as they were thoroughly dominated by the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu in a 6-0 Game 1 loss. Atlanta put two runners on with two outs in the ninth that gave us some hope, but the game ended up under the 7 run total.
It’s a 1-2 start for us in the postseason, but we’re just getting started - there’s plenty of action left and plenty of value to be found. We love the odds we’re seeing in the opening game of the marquee matchup of the divisional round - Boston vs. New York.
New York Yankees (Happ) at Boston Red Sox (Sale)
Featured Sportsbook Odds
* Denotes our "Top Rated" Sportsbook
|BetOnline*||Yankees +168||50% on $1000|
|MyBookie||Yankees +165||50% on $1000|
|Bovada||Yankees +152||50% on $250|
Yankees Red Sox - Game 1 Analysis
Boston is the odds-on favorite in Game 1 (-178 at BetOnline) with their ace, the left-handed Chris Sale, on the mound against fellow lefty J.A. Happ. Despite the confidence of the oddsmakers, Sale has yet to put together a full outing since being eased back into action in early September - he has endured two stints on the DL this season with shoulder inflammation. He lasted only 4 ⅔ innings against the Orioles in his final start of the season, and that was his longest outing since early August.
The most concerning sign was his fastball velocity in that final start, which hit a season-low at 90.2 MPH. If he can’t bring the same level of mid-90s heat he’s accustomed to, it could be a letdown of an opener for Sale. He’ll testing out his stuff against the team’s biggest rival, and that rival happens to have one of the best offenses in baseball.
The Red Sox have a great offense, too - the two rivals finished neck-and-neck at 2nd and 3rd in wRC+ on the season as a whole. However, the story is much different when looking at how each team fared against left-handed pitching: the Yankees remained the second-best offense against lefties, but the Red Sox were incredibly mediocre at 19th overall.
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, Boston’s two MVP-caliber sluggers, killed it this season from both sides of the plate. However, other key pieces in the Red Sox order were neutralized by lefties - Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers all performed significantly worse against LHP. Jackie Bradley and his stellar centerfield glove becomes essentially unplayable against southpaws - he hit a preposterously bad .185/.260/.303 in 131 at bats against LHP this season.
While J.A. Happ isn’t nearly on the same level as a fully-healthy Sale, we believe he’s up to the task here. He’s been stellar since arriving in New York at the trade deadline, going 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts. Happ has not been a true #1 starter at any point in his 11-year career, but he’s been a solid rotation piece for a decade. He’s had some of his best seasons in his mid-30s, including a career-best strikeout rate (26.3%) this season.
If the veteran left-hander does falter, he’ll have the good fortune of handing the ball off to the best bullpen in baseball (by a long shot). Of New York’s dominant group of relievers, only Dellin Betances had to go over an inning in the Yankees’ Wild Card win on Wednesday.
Yankees Red Sox - Game 1 Pick
With a fully healthy and confident Sale on the mound, the moneyline being offered on Friday’s Game 1 might make a little more sense. However, we still believe it would be selling the Yankees offense short - there is an abundance of talent in their lineup, including known baseball-killers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Despite Sale’s typical brilliance, just a single hanging slider offered up to one of the Yankee behemoths could change the outcome of the game.
The veteran lefty J.A. Happ and the lights-out Yankee bullpen should give New York a great shot of winning the opener on the road in Fenway. That’s why we believe taking the Yankees on the moneyline at +168 is a no-brainer - getting better than 1.5-1 odds in what seems like a fairly even matchup is something we can’t pass up on.
You shouldn’t either - that’s why you should go check out our Approved Sportsbooks and get some funds ready for this epic Game 1. Feel free to just bet your deposit bonus if you don’t have quite the confidence that we do.
Enjoy the game!
Bet the Yankees +168
BetOnline is our TOP ONLINE SPORTSBOOK
Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $1000
All of these listings have been confirmed and vetted by the LazyBets sports betting staff. To submit your online sportsbook for approval, please contact us here.
LazyBets may receive compensation in connection with advertising listings featured in this article. Click here to learn more.