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MLB predictions, odds, Friday, June 16

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The Red Sox and Yankees will play a three-game set for the second straight weekend.

Boston stole two of three at Yankee Stadium last week and now will host the Bronx Bombers at Fenway Park. 

I expect more success from the Red Sox this weekend, starting with a win on Friday night. 

Odds via Caesars.

Yankees vs. Red Sox prediction

(7:10 p.m. ET)

The Red Sox haven’t been hitting lately.

For some odd reason, the hard-hitting Red Sox haven’t been able to produce any sustained offense since the calendar flipped to June. 

Lucky for the Sox, the Yankees are an anemic offense without superstar Aaron Judge batting in the heart of the order. 

Since Judge went down on June 3, the Yankees have scored three or fewer runs in six of eight games.

Domingo German
Getty Images

They’re averaging just under 3.4 runs per game and are slashing .196/.258/.355 during the stretch, good for a putrid .613 OPS.

It’s been tough for the Yankees. 

At least the Red Sox managed to put up a few runs in their mid-week series against the Rockies, and we can attribute some of the early-June performance to bad luck, so I’m slightly more bullish on Boston’s offensive output this weekend. 

Let’s move to the starting pitching matchup. 

I’ve been impressed with Yankee starting pitcher Domingo German, who has improved with an altered pitch mix (he started throwing his better secondary pitches more and his worse fastball less). 

However, German’s expected ERA is still in the mid-4.00s, and while he’s coming off back-to-back six-inning, one-run performances, his underlying metrics have me concerned. 

Stuff+ is a metric popularized by The Atheltic’s Eno Sarris that attempts to capture the quality of a pitch based on its physical characteristics (release point, velocity, movement, et cetera).

The higher your Stuff+ mark, the better your pitches (and, theoretically, your results). 

Tanner Houck
Tanner Houck

German’s Stuff+ marks have significantly dropped over his past two starts, and he posted a below-average mark in his start last Sunday against Boston (97.3). 

Meanwhile, Boston starting pitcher Tanner Houck’s Stuff+ metrics have consistently improved over the season, and he’s posted three consecutive starts with above-average Stuff+ metrics (121.2 against the Diamondbacks, 116.9 against the Rays, 101.4 against the Yankees). 

It’s funny that we’re getting the same starting pitching matchup as last week.

For what it’s worth, that generally doesn’t bode well for either starting pitcher, as hitters tend to improve the more they see the same guy (especially in a short, five-day span). 

Betting on Baseball?

However, I’m more bullish on Houck than German entering Friday’s match, primarily because of how their pure stuff has looked.

Add that to Boston’s lineup advantage, and I’m willing to buy the Red Sox at Fenway in the first game of this series. 

The Yankees have the bullpen advantage, but the Red Sox can compete with a fully-rested Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Hopefully, the Red Sox will take advantage of German while the Yankees flail against Houck, so we won’t have to worry about late-game bullpen variance.

But the value is with Boston either way. 

Yankees vs. Red Sox pick

Red Sox moneyline (-125) | Play to (-130)

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