The Toronto Blue Jay and Boston Red Sox both are fighting to make the playoffs and open up a crucial series in Boston on Friday.
Toronto Blue Jay vs. Boston Red Sox (-162, 10.5)
The Red Sox give James Paxton the start on the mound, who has experience a career renaissance with a 6-2 record and 3.34 ERA this season with three runs or fewer allowed in nine of his last 10 starts with his best results coming at home.
Paxton has yet to allow more than three runs in a start at home, posting a 2.25 ERA with a strikeout to walk ratio of seven, which declines to three in road starts with his ERA jumping to 4.07 away from home.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah has had a massive drop off this season after being a top three Cy Young Award finalist last season, registering a 5.87 ERA and 6.13 fielding independent with 1.5 home runs and 6.3 walks per nine innings.
Most of Manoah’s woes have come at home as he has posted an 8.15 ERA with 2.3 home runs per nine innings allowed 0.9 home runs per nine innings with a 3.92 road ERA this season.
Manoah has also pitched better since spending nearly a month away from the big league team, allowing three runs or fewer in three of his four starts since rejoining the Blue Jays with a 4.34 ERA after carrying a 6.36 ERA before being sent to the team’s training facility in early June.
Both starting pitchers are supported by two of the better bullpens in the league with the Red Sox sixth in the league in bullpen ERA while the Blue Jays are 10th in this category.
The Blue Jays pitching staff will have its hands fu trying to keep the Red Sox off the base paths with their .292 home batting average being the best batting average at home in the league, are also 18th in home runs on a per at-bat basis at home and overall, the Red Sox enter having scored three runs or fewer in five of their last six games.
With the Blue Jays currently playing without leader in batting average Bo Bichette, who’s also tied for the team lead in home runs, and Toronto ninth among the 15 American League teams in runs per game since the All-Star Break, a game that has a total indicating an expectation of offensive fireworks will be a dud.
The Play: Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Under 10.5