After biting the dust in the opener, the Toronto Blue Jays will be looking for a little redemption in the series finale with the Boston Red Sox. One horrific fourth inning was all it took to spoil things for the Blue Jays. It was only a matter of time before Boston’s bats got hot, and once that happened, there was no looking back for the Red Sox. Garret Richards has been deemed the starter for Wednesday’s game opposite of Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton.
Toronto off to a rough startThe Blue Jays were hoping to come into Fenway Park and shake things up a bit after dropping their previous road series to the Kansas City Royals. What better way to rattle the Earth’s core than upending the No. 1-ranked team in the AL East division?
They tried to steal a win in the opener against Boston on Tuesday, but then the floodgates opened in the fourth inning and there was no coming back. A three-run homer by Xander Bogaerts and an RBI triple by Bobby Dalbec sung Toronto’s lullaby.
The Blue Jays’ pitching rotation has been solid right out of the gates, and their bullpen is currently leading the league in ERA. But Boston’s offense is unrivaled at the moment. Not only do they lead the league in batting average (.288), but they’re also leading in OPS (.818) as well. They’re simply in a flow right now, and no pitcher is safe.
Trent Thornton hopes to change that narrative when stepping in as the starter for the Blue Jays in this game. The 27-year-old righty is averaging a 2.35 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in predominantly opening work. So the Blue Jays are at least hopeful he can provide the team with a good start.
It would help if they had the bats to give Boston a taste of their own medicine, but they are only averaging 3.20 runs per game on the road. This is one of those games where you tear up the paper stats and hope that reality takes the night off.
Blue Jays’ center fielder George Springer got to participate in full team activities recently. So there is hope that a much-needed bat could soon be returning to the offense. However, it won’t be soon enough to help out on Wednesday.
Sale inching closer to a returnThe most encouraging sight of the night for the Red Sox—aside from cracking Toronto’s defense into submission—was Chris Sale throwing in the outfield.
Yes, that’s right. The Red Sox are one step closer to having their ace back in the rotation.
Granted, he still hasn’t had extensive work on the mound yet. So there is clearly still work to be done. But the mere sight of him actually on the field and throwing a baseball has to be encouraging to Red Sox fans.
Garrett Richards will be the one toeing the rubber for the Red Sox in Wednesday’s meeting with the Blue Jays. He is 0-1 on the season with a 6.00 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. The right-handed veteran pitcher would love to keep the Blue Jays’ struggling offense on the ropes in the finale. It’s the same offense that hasn’t scored more than two runs in three consecutive outings.
That’s a sweet spot run allowance for a Red Sox offense that’s basically taking whatever they want at the plate. It still has to be noted that the Blue Jays’ bullpen played exceptionally well down the stretch. Things were quiet at Fenway Park until the fourth-inning explosion, and then things got eerily silent again. Regardless of what happens, the Blue Jays are going to make them work for every single run.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Blue Jays are 2-7 in their last 9 games against a right-handed starter.
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last 5 games on grass.
- Red Sox are 12-3 in their last 15 games on grass.
- Red Sox are 8-2 in their last 10 games against a right-handed starter.
- Red Sox are 4-1 in their last 5 home games against a right-handed starter.
- Red Sox are 6-2 in their last 8 home games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Any team playing the Red Sox must have that sinking feeling in their guts with the knowledge that the bats can turn on at any moment. It’s an even worse feeling for a team that lacks the offensive firepower to go blow-for-blow with them at the plate.
The Blue Jays have struggled to put runs on the board while playing on the road. They are ranked in the bottom-half of the league in average hits (6.80) and OPS (.621) when playing anywhere other than TD Ballpark. The best hope for the Blue Jays is a pitching clinic icing Boston’s bats. If they can limit the Red Sox offensively, they’ll have a legitimate shot at stealing a victory.
But nine innings is a long time to be playing with fire and not getting burned.
It’s only a matter of time before the floodgates open on the Blue Jays again. The scariest thing about playing the Red Sox right now is that they only need one inning. As they showed in their opener against the Blue Jays, a lone inning can make all of the difference in a baseball game.
They’ll hit the rewind button on that lesson for Toronto on Wednesday. I’m taking the Red Sox to win outright.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Red Sox will certainly have their moments at the plate. Good luck stopping a team that’s averaging 5.65 runs per game.
Toronto already tried and got blew up for four runs inside of the fourth inning. You can only hold them off for so long before the bats eventually catch up to you. With that said, the Blue Jays have been formidable on defense. Their pitching rotation should be respected even in defeat considering they held the Red Sox scoreless in eight of the nine innings played on Tuesday. Their bullpen has been nothing short of amazing. So runs will still be tough to come by in the finale. Give me the under in this one.