The New York Yankees (44-44) have not enjoyed much success against the Boston Red Sox (49-38) so far this season but will try to move one step closer to evening the score when they host their American League East rivals in the opener of a three-game series Friday.
The Yankees have dropped four of the first six meetings this year, although they are listed as solid -140 favorites (bet $140 to win $100) at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark with Michael Pineda (3-8, 5.38 ERA) on the mound for Friday.
Pineda had been pitching better recently until he suffered his eighth loss on the road against the Chicago White Sox last Wednesday. The big righty gave up five runs and five hits in six innings of a 5-0 loss at Chicago with three walks and five strikeouts.
New York had won in each of his previous three starts, as he allowed five earned runs in 17.1 innings with four walks and 29 strikeouts. He is 0-1 in two starts versus the Red Sox in 2016 with a 3.27 ERA, walking four and striking out seven in 11 innings.
Opposing Pineda for Boston will be Steven Wright (10-5, 2.68 ERA), who has struggled of late but has still seen his team emerge victorious. The 31-year-old knuckleballer has given up 10 runs and 17 hits in 11 innings over his past two starts, with the Red Sox winning both times.
Wright has pitched much better on the road this season with a 4-4 mark and 1.88 ERA, as opposing batters have hit only .193 against him on the road.
Based on how each pitcher has performed lately, this pitching matchup would seem to have high-scoring affair written all over it, although the recent series history between the teams says otherwise. The under is 4-2-1 in the past seven meetings dating back to last season.
Wright turned in a dominant outing in his lone start versus the Yankees on the road back on May 8, allowing one run and three hits in earning a complete-game victory with one walk and seven strikeouts. That game finished under in a 5-1 win for Boston, a team that enters the second half of the season at +1400 on the odds to win the World Series.