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Tuesday’s Blue Jays-Red Sox Game Had One of the Worst Opening Lines of Season

Aug 07, 2018 2:44 PM EDT
  • The Red Sox opened as -135 road favorites against the Blue Jays and it was one of the worst opening lines of the season.
  • Even though the Sox own the best record in baseball, Drew Pomeranz starts for them on Tuesday night and he's been awful in 2018.
  • Marcus Stroman, meanwhile, has started to round into form and pitches a lot better at home than on the road.

Frankly, I couldn’t get this post up fast enough. The line for the Red Sox-Blue Jays game on Tuesday night was one of the worst opening lines of the season so far.

The market opened with the Red Sox as a -135 favorite and they’ve since moved to -123 with Toronto coming back at +112 according to the Action App.

After a four-game sweep of the Yankees over the weekend, the Red Sox now own an absurd 79-34 record. That puts them 45 games over .500 — and on pace to win approximately 113 games this season. How good is that? The record is 116 games, held by the 2001 Mariners and 1906 Chicago Cubs (who did it in only 154 games). Interestingly enough, neither team won the World Series that year.

While Boston seemingly wins every single night, more and more casual bettors will continue to line up at the window to get a piece of Mookie and company. However, I look at Boston through a different lens — and know their success will provide fade value throughout the second half. And let’s face it, opponents aren’t going to hit .000 (currently 0 for last 30) with the bases loaded in perpetuity.

And while I will look for nice underdog spots against the top teams in the league the rest of the season, some will jump out more than others. Tuesday night’s matchup is one of those. Not only do I think the moneyline is too high, I think the Jays have two distinct advantages in this particular matchup.

Pitching Matchup

Toronto will have a substantial pitching advantage on Tuesday night.

Drew Pomeranz has simply not been good this year. In ten starts, the left-hander owns a 1-5 record with a 6.56 ERA. A 1-5 record on a team that is 79-34 is an impressive feat. Pomeranz has failed to make it past the fifth inning in each of his last start and didn’t even make it to the fifth in four of those. He allowed three runs on five walks and five hits in just four innings at Toronto in May.

There’s no reason why Pomeranz should be a -123 road favorite against Marcus Stroman, who has pitched significantly better since coming off the DL. He’s clearly healthy now.

Stroman is also a guy I like to ride in the second-half, as his splits show he gets stronger as the year progresses.

Not only does Stroman enjoy pitching after the All-Star break, he also pitches much better at home. Look no further than his career 3.46 home ERA — almost a full run lower than his career 4.39 road ERA.

The extreme ground-baller loves the turf and two-year old dirt infield of the Rogers Centre, which slow down his ground balls. Stroman has the highest GB% among all qualified starters since the start of last season. The athletic righty also helps himself out on the mound with outstanding defense, which he was rewarded for with a Gold Glove last season.

Situational Edge

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox had a slight letdown after that emotional sweep over the Yankees, which basically locked up the AL East. And could you really blame them if they come out a little hungover? For those into trends, the Red Sox are 18-18 (-3.7 units) following a win over the Yankees in a series finale.

We all know Toronto isn’t going anywhere this season so games like this at home can be meaningful for the players and crowd. I expect the Jays to get up for this one.

Call me crazy, but I’m backing the Jays on Tuesday night against the best team in baseball. I just can’t pass up the plus-money in a solid situational spot with the better pitcher on the hill. I will split my wager up between first five innings and full game since I do have less trust in the Toronto bullpen.

The Bets

  • Blue Jays +121 
  • Blue Jays F5 (when it becomes available)

Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

Credit:

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marcus Stroman

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