MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions | Blue Jays vs Red Sox Betting Preview (May 1)
Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: George Springer.
- The Boston Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday at Fenway Park.
- Both the Blue Jays and Red Sox are coming off series wins heading into this AL East battle.
- Continue reading for Kenny Ducey's Blue Jays vs. Red Sox series opener preview, and betting pick.
Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Odds
|Blue Jays Odds|
-125 / +105
|Red Sox Odds|
-125 / +105
The red-hot Blue Jays are fresh off a third straight series win and head back out on the road to face division-rival Boston. The Red Sox just took two of three from the Guardians and have found themselves once again at the plate.
With two struggling starters going for their respective teams, this one could turn into a slugfest. Let’s sort it all out in our Blue Jays vs. Red Sox preview and predictions.
It seems the only thing that can stop the Blue Jays right now is their own pitching. While their six-game winning streak was finally stopped on Sunday against the Mariners, they scored eight runs in the process and have now put up five or more in five of their last seven games.
Toronto ranks 12th in wRC+ over the last week but has been arguably better than that at the plate with a stellar 10% strikeout rate and low 18.8% walk rate. Its only real weakness has been in the power department, posting a .153 ISO during that time.
The Blue Jays now sit sixth in xwOBA for the season and sixth in xSLG, so perhaps there’s a bit more to this team’s run production than its Isolated Power. Sure, they’re not racking up a ton of extra-base hits, but the Jays have hit a solid .258 and have the seventh-lowest strikeout rate in the league with an above-average walk rate to boot.
It’s hard to find something that they don’t do well, and unlike a team like the Guardians there’s much more to this lineup than its ability to get the ball in play. Toronto’s got plenty of power bats which should wake up in due time.
With all of that said, pitching may cost this team for a second straight day. Jose Berrios has struggled yet again this year with a 4.71 ERA, but the good news is that his strikeout rate is back up to 26.1% after sitting at an uncharacteristic 19.8% last year.
Berrios has also been excellent once again in the walk department which has helped him pitch around a poor .415 xwOBA on contact.
The Red Sox are still inside the top 10 in wRC+ for the season and after a slight dip are right back to scoring runs. They’ve hit .279 in the last week with a low 19% strikeout rate and solid 9.1% walk rate, hitting seven homers in the process.
Raimel Tapia has been a revelation on offense and Masataka Yoshida looks like he’s finally adjusting to big-league pitching. Even Connor Wong has turned things around after a poor start. This team can hit.
The issue has been starting pitching. While the Boston bullpen has a respectable 3.69 ERA, the starting rotation’s 6.05 ERA has been the second-worst in all of baseball.
Yet another embattled hurler will take the hill on Monday in the form of Corey Kluber, who appears to be on the road to retirement. The two-time Cy Young Award winner owns a 6.75 ERA through five starts, surrendering a whopping seven home runs and a poor 42.1% hard-hit rate. His strikeout rate has come down once again, sitting at 18.9%, and he’s induced ground balls at a career-low 31.6%.
Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Betting Pick
The Blue Jays are deserving favorites here with the way they’ve hit, and despite a strong showing from Boston’s bats I don’t think the Red Sox will be able to overcome another poor start from Kluber.
Berrios has been quietly OK this season with his renewed strikeout proficiency and low walk rate, so while I do expect the Red Sox to make some noise at the plate I’m not quite sure it’ll be close to what Toronto and its incredible offense has to offer.
Kluber’s groundball rate is not only down but his fly ball rate is a career-high 32.9%. I think the Blue Jays, who may be due for some positive regression in the power department, should keep on flying here.
Pick: Blue Jays Run Line (+100)
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