Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
When and Where: Wednesday, Sept. 12, Fenway Park, Boston, Mass., 7:10 p.m. EDT.
The first item on the checklist crossed off after clinching a playoff spot, the Boston Red Sox look to record their first 100-win season in 72 years Wednesday night when David Price makes another bid to extend his mastery of the Toronto Blue Jays and his personal winning streak to six games.
Sanchez out to win back-to-back starts for first time since 2016
Aaron Sanchez (4-5, 5.17 ERA) is making his fourth start since missing two months due to a freak injury in which he bruised his index finger when he got it caught in a suitcase. It was the latest in a string of injuries to the fingers on his throwing hand that has cost him large chunks of the past two seasons after going 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 2016.
The right-hander, though, took a small step forward last Wednesday, recording his first victory since June 3 after allowing three runs — two on solo homers — over six innings of a 10-3 victory over Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays made things easier for him by scoring seven first-inning runs, and Sanchez is now seeking to win back-to-back starts for the first time since closing out his 15-win campaign two years ago.
He is 0-1 with a 6.19 ERA in three starts against Boston this year, with all of them coming before his injury. Sanchez was drilled for seven runs and nine hits — two of them homers — in an 8-3 loss at Fenway Park on May 28 and has served up four homers in 16 innings in those games.
The righty is 3-2 with a 4.42 ERA in 10 lifetime starts versus the Red Sox, but has lost his last two at Fenway Park while yielding 12 runs and 15 hits in nine innings. J.D. Martinez is 5 for 16 with a homer and a double versus Sanchez, and Mookie Betts is 6 for 23 with two doubles while also taking him deep once.
Price again tries to wrap up sixth 15th-win season
Price (14-6, 3.57 ERA) was given extra rest after being hit in the left wrist Aug. 29 with a line drive while pitching against the Miami Marlins as Red Sox manager Alex Cora reshuffled his rotation with an eye on the postseason for the all but certain to be AL East champions.
The left-hander was plenty sharp with the eight days between starts, striking out 10 in 6 1-3 innings while holding Houston to two runs and two hits Friday, but he did not get a decision in Boston’s eventual 6-3 defeat. Price threw 101 pitches and retired 14 straight batters at one point, and he was pleased everything seemed in place considering the teams could meet again in the ALCS.
“These are the reigning World Series champions and they’re winning their division right now, and they’re a very good team and they added a lot of key pieces in the offseason after they won the World Series,” he told Boston’s official website. “So I think in September, whenever you’re playing a team like that, it’s always a good measuring stick.”
Price is 5-0 with a 2.47 ERA over 10 starts during his winning streak and defeated Toronto on July 12, overcoming a pair of home runs while allowing three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-4 victory. He is 7-3 against AL East rivals this year, including a 3-0 mark in as many starts versus the Blue Jays as he’s yielded seven runs in 17 innings while being backed with 16 runs in those games.
The lefty’s 20 career wins against Toronto are his most against any team, and his .870 percentage in 23 decisions is the highest against any team he’s recorded at least five wins. Price is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven starts and eight appearances versus Toronto since joining the Red Sox.
Devon Travis is 7 for 16 with a homer against Price while Kendrys Morales has almost as many strikeouts (7) as hits (8) in 32 at-bats. Russell Martin and Kevin Pillar are a combined 8 for 54 versus with 19 strikeouts versus the southpaw.
The Red Sox are:
- 5-0 in Price’s last five home starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 4-0 in Price’s last four starts vs. AL East teams.
- 20-7 in Price’s last 27 home starts.
- The under is 5-1-1 in their last seven during game 2 of a series.
- The under is 6-2 in Price’s last eight starts during game 2 of a series.
- The under is 5-2-1 in Price’s last eight starts.
The Blue Jays are:
- 4-10 in Sanchez’s last 14 starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- 0-5 in Sanchez’s last five road starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- 7-20 in their last 27 Wednesday games.
- The under is 11-1 in Sanchez’s last 12 Wednesday starts.
- The under is 21-8-1 in Sanchez’s last 30 starts vs. AL East teams.
- The under is 5-2 in Sanchez’s last seven road starts vs. above-.500 teams.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Price showed no ill effects from the comebacker or the extra rest, and now faces a team he has owned over his career. It all points to good things for the left-hander and the Red Sox, who are on the verge of their first 100-win season since going 104-50 in 1946.
Prediction: Pick: Red Sox -240
Full-Game Total Pick
The confidence for taking the under comes mainly with Price on the hill, and Sanchez made some progress in his last outing while throwing nearly 100 pitches. Boston’s offense will probably make this a pick to sweat out, but the hedge is Price is sharp enough to offset Sanchez if he struggles.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 9 runs (-115)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Before his last start against the Astros in which the bullpen failed to protect the lead by letting inherited runners scored, the Red Sox had won all nine of Price’s prior starts and recorded the last four by three or more runs. The left-hander’s form is worth a flyer here as Boston chases that milestone victory.
Prediction: Pick: Red Sox -2.5 adjusted run line (+125)
First Five Innings Side Pick
The Red Sox have only trailed after five innings once spanning Price’s 10 starts during his winning streak and have led in five of his last six outings. Coupled with the left-hander’s dominance of Toronto both this season and over the course of his career, the Red Sox are worth giving the half-run here as opposed to taking the money line at -240.
Prediction: Pick: Red Sox -0.5 runs (-170)
First Five Innings Total Bet
The Red Sox offense makes this a tricky play since it has put up crooked numbers at various points early during Price’s winning streak. They have scored three or more runs six times at various points over the first five innings during his 10-start unbeaten run.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 5 runs (-120)
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
Unsurprisingly, this pick hinges more on Sanchez delivering since Price has allowed a first-inning run just once during his 10-start run, though that came against Toronto. The lefty did hold them off the board in the opening frame of his other two matchups this season. The Blue Jays pitcher has not allowed a first-inning run in his three starts since coming off the disabled list and has a 3.00 ERA in the opening inning overall.-
Prediction: Pick: NO to 1st-inning run (-115)