MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions | Blue Jays vs Red Sox Betting Preview (May 4)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman.
- The Toronto Blue Jays look to avoid a sweep against the division-rival Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
- The Jays send Kevin Gausman to the mound, while the Sox will counter with Brayan Bello.
- Check out Nick Martin's full betting preview for Blue Jays vs. Red Sox below.
Blue Jays vs Red Sox Odds
|Blue Jays Odds|
-108 / -112
|Red Sox Odds|
-108 / -112
The Red Sox look to cap off a rare four-game sweep over the Blue Jays with a win Thursday to make it six straight victories overall. Boston now sits just a half-game back of Toronto in the division after a poor start to the campaign.
Brayan Bello will make his fourth start of the season Thursday. Bello has not yet paid off his high potential in the 2023 campaign, pitching to a 6.57 ERA in 12.1 innings.
Kevin Gausman will take the mound for the Jays, and as a result, they’re -165 favorites. Gausman has pitched to a 2.33 ERA in 38.1 innings.
Over Toronto’s four-game losing streak, we’ve seen a few familiar warts shine through. The bullpen blew an 8-5 lead late to the Mariners on Sunday and has proceeded to play a horrific series in Boston, allowing multiple earned runs in each outing. The fielding has been very middling as well, with players like Daulton Varsho making surprising errors.
Thursday should present a great opportunity to get back into the win column.
Toronto was the third-most potent offense in the league versus right-handed pitching last season with a wRC+ of 118 and a .332 wOBA. It’s hit to a 108 wRC+ versus righties this season and will remain a nightmare for right-handed starters.
The Jays’ xwOBA of .339 ranks sixth in the league, and their xBA ranks fifth league-wide. Yet, their BABIP sits down at 14th, which makes a case that this offense could still fare better relative to the rest of the league from here on out.
On the mound, Gausman has looked true to form to start the campaign.
He has struck out 35.1% of batters faced and owns a walk rate of just 3.9%. He owns an excellent xFIP of 2.48 to go along with that, and if Toronto can continue to play respectable defense, Gausman should prove particularly effective.
Gausman’s splitter continues to rate as one of the better pitches in baseball. Making it an effective put-away pitch has been the key reason Gausman has become a top pitcher. Batters are whiffing 50.4% of the time on his splitter this year, and they own an xBA of just .122.
Bello’s lowly results have been one of the early disappointments for Red Sox fans. It’s well known that he has the stuff to fare better than we’ve seen so far in this 2023 campaign, but it’s been a struggle thus far, as he owns a 5.84 xERA throughout his opening three matchups.
His xFIP of 3.72 is a positive note, though, and he should see positive regression toward his 48.7% hard-hit rate moving forward. It’s a positive that Bello settled in as last season wore on after a horrific start to his big-league career. Over his final 49.1 innings, he pitched to a 3.84 ERA, albeit with a 1.68 WHIP.
Projecting Bello to hold an ERA around 4.25 the rest of the way seems fair. I think we’ll see a more positive start sometime soon and don’t believe Bello’s a pure fade candidate for the time being.
Offensively, the Red Sox have been dominant, which is seemingly flying a little under the radar entering this matchup. They have hit to a team wRC+ of 117 and have scored runs at a ridiculous rate recently.
Blue Jays vs Red Sox Betting Pick
It’s worth noting that today’s conditions at Fenway should be extremely favorable to pitchers, which is why we’ve seen this under trend all the way down to 8.5.
Bello has been a complete disappointment to start the season for Sox fans, but I actually think it’s reasonable to assume he’ll begin to fare better.
However, he gets a very tough matchup today against one of the best teams in the league versus right-handed pitching.
Toronto also happens to have its ace on the mound, and what we have seen out of Gausman so far has been very impressive. Gausman’s stuff should play particularly well with today’s park conditions, and I’m counting on a solid showing here against a strong Red Sox offense.
I like the chances the Jays find a way to stop the bleeding with a victory today. In particular, I think Gausman can get them off to a strong start, so I see value in backing Toronto to cover -0.5 in the first five innings at -115.
Pick: Blue Jays F5 -0.5 (-115)
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