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Red Sox vs. Yankees Preview Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Red Sox vs. Yankees Sunday Night Baseball Preview and Best Bet

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN) at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York

Domingo German: ERA vs. FIP

While Yankee starter Domingo German’s ERA looks pretty at 3.27, this is just a surface-level statistic that masks troubling signs.

One statistic that portends trouble is his 4.45 FIP (like ERA, but factors out fielding).

He has benefitted so far from stranding 86.9 percent of the runners that have reached base against him. But this high strand rate is statistically unsustainable.

German’s Pitch Quality

German is worse than his ERA suggests largely because of the individual quality of both his fastball and sinker.

These pitches are important to German because they combine for 42.4 percent of his pitches — nearly half of his arsenal.

His fastball yields a .622 slugging rate and his sinker yields a .596 slugging rate.

Both pitches suffer for location. Heat maps show that he often leaves them in the middle of the plate.

They lack the quality in themselves to make up for German’s frequent inability to locate them well.

Given this lack of quality that also exists to a degree in his other pitches, German yields a .571 slugging rate when he leaves pitches down the middle.

Poor location and insufficient pitch quality also explain the fact that he’s allowed 11 home runs this season, four in his past two starts alone.

German vs. AL East

So far, the Yanks are 3-3 in German’s starts against division opponents.

This record looks alright. But note that two of those wins came against the lowly Orioles, who, as measured by runs per game, own by far the worst lineup in the division.

In each of his four starts against other AL East teams, German yielded an FIP of over 6.00.

Red Sox Batters vs. German

Boston is hitting well, lately. It has accrued a combined total of 17 runs in its past three games.

Look out especially for Marwin Gonzalez and Xander Bogaerts.

In 10 career at-bats, Bogaerts is slugging .800 against German.

Gonzalez is slugging .556 in nine career at-bats versus German.

Garrett Richards

The fact that Red Sox starter Garrett Richards is less of a known quantity — he was formerly an Angel then a Padre — has helped him find the success against strong AL lineups that German has not found.

Richards’ individual pitch statistics look bad because of early-season mechanical struggles.

But since that rough beginning, he has experienced upticks in both velocity and spin rate.

As a result, his fastball yielded a .319 slugging rate in May.

His fastball’s success is important because it’s his favorite pitch.

He throws it just over half the time, relying on its very high spin rate.

Its spin ranks in the 95th percentile and gives batters trouble as they try to track it.

Yankee Batters vs. Richards

New York’s lineup is cold. Excluding extra innings, the Yanks have failed to exceed three runs in eight of their last nine games.

Since their slump began, their BA is .164 against the fastball, Richards’ favorite pitch.

While their slugging rate is slightly more attractive, it’s hard to rely on power against Richards, who has only allowed two home runs since the start of May.

Boston’s Bullpen

I like Boston for the full-game because plenty of its best relievers are ready to go.

Adam Ottavino is a guy who can pitch multiple games in a row — he last pitched last night.

Hirokazu Sawamura is fresh after getting last night off.

Matt Barnes, the closer, only threw five pitches last night.

The Verdict

After all I’ve said, one might still like the Yankees because they will want to avoid a sweep tonight.

But the Yankees are 1-2 in in games where they are trying to ward off a sweep in the final game of a series.

So there is no basis for liking the Yanks in this situation.

Conversely, Boston is 4-2 in games where they can secure a sweep.

Boston owns the starting pitching edge against German and his vulnerable fastball and sinker and his overall tendency to allow more home runs.

The Red Sox also boast fresh and strong bullpen arms to secure the victory after Richards with his improvement and high-spin fastball helps Boston lead.

Best Bet: Red Sox ML at +134 at BetOnline

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