The Toronto Blue Jays look to take advantage of the sinking
Boston Red Sox for the second time in a week as they open a
three-game series in Boston on Monday. Toronto took three of
four at home against the Red Sox to begin last week before
winning two of three at the New York Yankees over the weekend,
pulling to within three games of first-place Baltimore in the
American League East. Overall, the Blue Jays have won seven of
nine following a 2-9 stretch.
After dropping the final three games in Toronto, Boston lost
two of three at Tampa Bay to extend its misery. The defending
world champs scored 14 runs over the final six games of their
road trip after producing 14 in the opener of the trek. The
Blue Jays swept three straight by a combined score of 20-10 in
their last visit to Boston in May.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, SNET (Toronto), NESN
LINE HISTORY: The line opened at Boston -135
and with some early action on the Red Sox, jumped as high as
-139 before settling back down at the opening number. The total
currently sits at 8.5.
INJURY REPORT: N.A.
WHAT SHARPS SAY: “These two A.L. East rivals
are heading in opposite directions again with the Jays coming
off an encouraging series in the Bronx and the BoSox dropping
yet another series against a division foe (Tampa Bay). With
that said, I do expect to see the Sox put up a serious fight in
this series. Clay Buchholz is a better pitcher than his numbers
indicate. It remains to be seen whether he can step up against
a surging lineup, however.” – Covers Experts’ Sean Murphy
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We have made Boston a -135
favorite. R.A. Dickey has struggled over his last 3 starts (5.2
ERA), but he is 2-0 vs Red Sox this season (3.5 ERA) so that’s
why Boston isn’t a bigger fave.” – Mike Perry of Sportsbook.ag
WAG WAR: Third baseman due battle, even though
they are both injured. On the left is Red Sox 3B Wil
Middlebrooks’ girlfriend Jenny Dell and on the right is Jays 3B
Brett Lawrie’s girlfriend Paige Brendal.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH R.A. Dickey
(8-10, 4.04 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Clay Buchholz (5-6, 5.50)
Dickey got the win after allowing four runs and nine hits in
six innings against Boston on Wednesday, just the second
victory in his last eight decisions. The knuckleballer has
worked at least six innings in eight consecutive starts while
striking out at least five in each of his last seven outings.
Dickey also let up a run in 6 1/3 solid innings to defeat the
Red Sox at home on April 27 but he is 0-1 with a 6.91 ERA in
five career games (one start) at Fenway Park.
Buchholz had seemingly turned a corner after a rocky,
injury-marred start to his season, but has been more pedestrian
in his last two starts. He has given up eight earned runs on 16
hits and four walks over 12 innings in those outings, including
six frames opposite Dickey last week. The 29-year-old has a
6.32 ERA in seven home starts, allowing 52 hits in 37 innings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-four percent of wagers
are backing the Blue Jays at +125.