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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 7:00 AM

The worst fears of New York Yankees fans are coming true right out of the gate. The Yankees got ROCKED twice in a row at the Stadium by the hated Boston Red Sox. The backups put in charge of treading water while high paid talent recuperates on the Disabled List are instead sinking in the deep end.

Boston won by scores of 8-2 and 7-4 even though star arms C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda were on the mound for the Yanks. Can Andy Pettitte avoid the sweep? Let’s run review some key numbers for the teams and the pitchers heading into tonight’s action.

 

FINAL 2012 RECORDS

Boston: 69-93 (finished last in the AL East)

NY Yankees: 95-67 (won AL East)

If you’ve been buried in basketball the past few weeks, it’s important to remember that the Red Sox are starting a new regime this year with a lot of new talent. When was the last time this team was hungry? Not the kind of hungry that means you eat fried chicken in the clubhouse during the game…but the kind of hungry that means you go out and battle every night? The Red Sox have shown to this point that they’re serious about bouncing back. Yankees injuries may have them dealing with the cellar of the AL East through the opening weeks of this new 2013 campaign.

 

2012 RUNS PER GAME

Boston: 4.53

NY Yankees: 4.96

The Yankees were the second best in the AL last year at run production, and that’s even though Yankee Stadium actually reduced scoring a bit. It’s a great home run park for lefty sluggers, but other elements combine to help pitchers just a big. Boston plays in a friendly hitter’s park, which means they were further behind the Yanks last year than it looks at first glance.

 

2012 ON-BASE PERCENTAGE

Boston: .315

NY Yankees: .337

If you haven’t incorporated on-base percentage into your handicapping yet, you need to start now! The Yankees had a lot of patient hitters, and were best in the American League in this stat last season. Boston used to emphasize this stat…but management stopped following the Bill James sabermetric principles! Pay close attention to walks drawn for the Red Sox out of the gate. The team won’t be fixed until this element of their offense is fixed.

 

TONIGHT’S PITCHERS

Boston…Ryan Dempster: 12-8, 3.38 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

NY Yankees…Andy Pettitte: 5-4, 2.87 ERA, 1.14 WHIP

Pettitte only made 12 starts for the Yankees last year, but he was very strong in those outings. He deserved a better won-lost record than 5-4 considering he was posting those numbers for a great offense! Ryan Dempster hopped around a bit last year. He’s hoping to settle down with a contender this season. A good year from the #3 man in the rotation would go a long way to turning Boston back into a contender once again.

 

INNINGS PER START AND K-RATE

Ryan Dempster: 6.2 IP per start and 8.0 K-Rate

Andy Pettitte: 6.1 IP per start and 8.2 K-Rate

Virtually identical performances in these two important pitching categories. Basically righty and lefty versions of the same man. Those high K-rates give both guys a chance to control their own destinies whenever they take the mound.

A lot of sports bettors like playing the “avoid the sweep” angle, particularly when it’s the home team that lost the first two games. The problem with that in this case is that the Yankees barely feel like a team right now. This collection of talent is still getting the hang of playing with each other. And, there’s no way those two one-sided losses built any confidence out of the gate.

JIM HURLEY has studied this game closely because he knows baseball fans love betting on games involving these teams. To find out if Sox/Yanks made the cut, check out the “buy picks” page here at the website. The NIT championship is on the card tonight for sure, and there are some interesting possibilities on TV in the NBA. If you have any questions about service, all the NETWORK office at 1-800-323-4453.

The Yankees have BOMBED so far in the BRONX. Is this the night they turn it around? Don’t make a move until you hear what JIM HURLEY has to say!

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