Toronto Blue Jays (73-82 SU, 72-83 RL, 70-78-7 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (91-64 SU, 82-73 RL, 66-83-6 O/U)
MLB: Monday, September 25, 2017, Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, 7:10 pm ET
Lines: Boston -225, Toronto +207; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the opening game of the next to last series of the regular season between a pair of AL East foes in Beantown. The Toronto Blue Jays open up a three-game set with the division-leading Boston Red Sox Monday night. Toronto closed a three-game set at home with the Yankees Sunday afternoon, winning the rubber game 9-5. Boston closed out their three-game interleague road set with the Reds Sunday afternoon, sweeping the series with a 5-4 win. The Red Sox took two of three in the last series between the teams here, which took place September 4-6.
Toronto Blue Jays Try to Help Tighten AL East Race
Toronto won their series with the Yankees, winning the rubber game Sunday afternoon. The Blue Jays are going nowhere this season thanks to their mediocre offense and their struggling pitching. Toronto got two hits each from Ryan Goins (run), Russell Martin (three RBI) and Jose Bautista (run, RBI) in the victory. Teoscar Hernandez hit his fifth homer of the season for the Blue Jays. Marcus Stroman (13-5) picked up the win on the mound as he allowed three runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work.
Brett Anderson takes the mound for his 12th start of the season overall and his sixth with the Blue Jays here. He is 3-4 with a 7.15 ERA, a 1.809 WHIP, 18 walks and 32 strikeouts over 45.1 innings of work. Anderson was crushed in taking the loss in his last start, which came at home against the Royals Wednesday. He lasted only 1.1 innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout as the Blue Jays were drubbed 15-5. Anderson is 1-1 with a 9.26 ERA, a 1.97 WHIP, six walks and 10 strikeouts over 11.2 innings in his last three starts. He is 5-4 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.223 WHIP over 59.2 innings in 10 career starts against the Red Sox. Anderson is 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA and a 1.462 WHIP over 26 innings in his five career starts at Fenway Park.
Boston Red Sox Look to Trim Magic Number
Boston rallied from a 4-1 deficit by scoring four times in the eighth inning to get the victory. The Red Sox extended their lead in the AL East to five games and reduced their magic number to winning the division to three. Rafael Devers (run, two RBI) was the only Boston player with two hits as the team finished with five in the game. Mookie Betts had a three-run double to tie the game and scored the winning run on an infield hit from Devers. Doug Fister recorded a no-decision after allowing three runs on nine hits with no walks and nine strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Robby Scott (2-1) picked up the win by fanning the only hitter he faced: Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for his 35th save.
Drew Pomeranz gets the ball for his 31st start of the year for the Red Sox in this contest. He is 16-5 with a 3.15 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP, 66 walks and 171 strikeouts over 165.2 innings of work this year. Pomeranz recorded a no-decision in his last outing, which came Wednesday on the road against the Orioles. He threw 6.1 innings, allowing no runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a game the Red Sox won 1-0 in 11 innings. Pomeranz is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, seven walks and 17 strikeouts over 18.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his eighth career appearance and sixth start against the Blue Jays here: he is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.427 WHIP over 27.1 innings of work. Pomeranz is 9-4 with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.354 WHIP over 25 appearances, 21 starts, covering 113 innings at Fenway Park in his career.
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in Anderson’s last 5 starts
- Red Sox are 5-0 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series
- Red Sox are 6-0 in their last 6 games on grass
- Red Sox are 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
The Blue Jays are reduced to little more than trying to be a pain to their division rivals that will make the postseason down the stretch. Boston is still trying to fend off the Yankees for the AL East title with their magic number at this point sitting at five. Pomeranz has gone 13-2 with a 2.61 ERA over his last 22 starts dating back to late May. Anderson has been awful regardless of where he’s been this season and there’s no reason to expect him to be any better here. Look for the Red Sox to come up with the victory in this contest.