Boston Red Sox Heavily Favored for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball for 3 Reasons

Jeff Grant@@JeffGrantSportsContributor IAugust 7, 2011

Boston Red Sox Heavily Favored for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball for 3 Reasons

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    The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are tied for first place in the American League East heading into their series finale on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. (ET) at historic Fenway Park.

    Boston holds a significant 9-2 advantage over New York in the season series, including a 10-4 home victory on Saturday afternoon.

    Oddsmakers expect a similar result in this one, placing Boston as a minus-155 home favorite due to the dominant pitching of Josh Beckett. The line reflects that he will not be matched up with CC Sabathia for the first time in four starts this year against the Yankees.

    Let’s take a closer look at Beckett’s 2011 dominance of the Bronx Bombers.

Boston Red Sox 4, New York Yankees 0

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    Beckett tossed eight shutout innings and collected 10 strikeouts in a 4-0 home victory on April 10.

    It was his first victory of the season and also proved to Red Sox Nation that he could deliver in Major League Baseball’s biggest rivalry.

    The right-hander struggled mightily in the series last year, posting a 1-2 record and 10.04 ERA in five opportunities.

    Bettors benefited from his previous numbers, getting the Red Sox as a plus-110 home underdog.

Boston Red Sox 6, New York Yankees 0

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    Beckett extended his scoreless innings streak to 14 against the Yankees in a 6-0 win at Yankee Stadium on May 14.

    It was also the second straight time that he was featured in a marquee matchup with New York ace CC Sabathia.

    Bettors continued to receive value on the All-Star right-hander, as he went off as a plus-129 road underdog.

Boston Red Sox 8, New York Yankees 3

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    The Spring, Texas native completed the trifecta over Sabathia in tallying an 8-3 victory in the Bronx on June 9.

    Beckett will enter tonight with an unblemished 3-0 record and 0.86 ERA in three starts against the Yankees, limiting them to a combined .141 batting average.

    He has been an underdog just four times this season, with three of them coming in this series.

    Las Vegas has made the necessary adjustment.