Major League Baseball’s greatest rivalry reaches a stage not seen for 43 years as the New York Yankees head to Fenway Park to meet the Boston Red Sox in the single-elimination American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday night (8:08 p.m. ET).
This will be the sixth time ever that the two hated rivals meet in the postseason and just the second time that it will come in a one-game playoff. While the Red Sox have defeated the Yankees in their two most recent meetings (2004 ALCS, 2018 ALDS), the Yankees took the first three (1978, 1999 ALCS, 2003 ALCS), including the one-game playoff in ’78 that will forever be remembered for Bucky Dent’s improbable game-winning home run.
While the Red Sox are the top-seeded Wild Card team this time around, the matchup with the Yankees were as close to a dead-heat as possible as the clubs will fight for a spot in the American League Divisional Series against another division rival in the Tampa Bay Rays.
Here is how the two stacked up against each other this season:
Yankees vs. Red Sox 2021 stats
|YANKEES||2021 Head-2-Head Stats||RED SOX|
On paper, the Red Sox look to have a significant offensive edge when looking at the two teams’ performances during the 2021 season.
Boston was tied for fourth in the majors with an average of 5.12 runs scored per game and had the third-best team batting average at .261 and OPS at .777. The Yankees ranked 19th in runs scored per game, 23rd in batting average, and 13th in OPS.
But loaded lineups on either side ensure that those season-long stats can be thrown out the window for a one-night affair at Fenway:
Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox
- Last 15 games: .328/.358/.563 (.931 OPS), 4 HR, 10 RBI
- 2021 stats: .279/.352/.538 (.890 OPS), 38 HR, 113 RBI
- ’21 stats vs. Yankees: .250/.316/.500 (.816 OPS), 5 HR, 18 RBI
Giancarlo Stanton, DH, Yankees
- Last 28 games: .898 OPS, 10 HR, 26 RBI
- 2021 stats: .273/.354/.516 (870 OPS), 35 HR, 97 RBI
- ’21 stats vs. Red Sox: .841 OPS, 4 HR, 14 RBI
Bobby Dalbec, 1B, Red Sox
- Last 24 games: .928 OPS, 7 HR, 17 RBI
- 2021 stats: .792 OPS, 25 HR, 78 RBI
- ’21 stats vs. Yankees: .455 OPS, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Aaron Judge, RF, Yankees
- Last 12 games: .325/.420/.700 (1.120 OPS), 4 HR, 13 RBI
- 2021 stats: .916 OPS, 39 HR, 98 RBI
- ’21 stats vs. Red Sox: .850 OPS, 2 HR, 7 RBI
On the mound
The pitching matchup should be a dandy as Yankees ace Gerrit Cole opposes Red Sox veteran Nathan Eovaldi — a hero of the team’s run to a 2018 World Series triumph.
There are some question marks surrounding the effectiveness of Cole as the All-Star has yielded 15 earned runs (7.64 ERA) over his last three starts.
He usually saves his best stuff for the bright lights of the postseason, though, as he owns an 8-4 career record to go with a 2.68 ERA in the playoffs.
However, Cole saw the Red Sox once in the postseason, three years ago in the 2018 ALCS when he was a member of the Houston Astros. In Game 3 of that series, he was tagged for five runs (four earned) on six hits in six innings of work which ultimately translated to a 7-5 loss.
Eovaldi has postseason experience facing the Yankees, spinning a gem in Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS when he allowed just one run on five hits while striking out five and walking zero over seven innings of work in a Red Sox 16-1 victory. They ultimately went on to win the series on their way to the title.
Gerrit Cole 2021 stats vs. Red Sox
- 4 starts
- 2-2 record
- 22.0 innings pitched
- 24 hits
- 12 earned runs
- 4.91 ERA
- 31 K’s
- 9 BB’s
- 1.500 WHIP
Who to watch vs. Cole
- Enrique Hernandez: 11 ABs, .455 BA, 1.481 OPS, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 XBHs
- J.D. Martinez: 25 ABs, .935 OPS, 2 HR, 3 RBI
- Rafael Devers: 19 ABs, .934 OPS, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Nathan Eovaldi 2021 stats vs. Yankees
- 6 starts
- 2-2 record
- 34.0 innings pitched
- 38 hits
- 14 earned runs
- 3.71 ERA
- 34 K’s
- 4 BB’s
- 1.235 WHIP
Who to watch vs. Eovaldi
- Aaron Judge: 20 ABs, .400 BA, 1.079 OPS, 1 HR, 2 RBI
- Giancarlo Stanton: 27 ABs, .832 OPS, 2 HR, 7 RBI
- Anthony Rizzo: 9 ABs, 5 H (.556 BA), 3 XBH, 2 RBI
2021 AL Wild Card Game odds
- Run Line: Yankees -1.5
- Over 8.5 total runs scored: -105
- Under 8.5 total runs scored: -115
- Yankees Moneyline: -125
- Red Sox Moneyline: +105
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
This article first appeared on AMNY.com