Blue Jays vs. Red Sox MLB Odds & Picks: Back Garrett Richards and Boston’s Bullpen (Wednesday, April 21)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Xander Bogaerts and Marcus Semien
- Two of MLB's best teams in terms of run differential meet Wednesday night at Fenway.
- The Red Sox also have the best record in the American League, while the Blue Jays are in the bottom of the AL East with the Yankees.
- See why D.J. James likes Boston to improve its record at home.
Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||+112|
|Red Sox Odds||-120|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesay morning and via PointsBet.|
The battle for the current top of the American League is a grueling one. The Boston Red Sox currently maintain the best run differential — which is usually indicative of future success — in all of baseball.
The Toronto Blue Jays have somehow finagled themselves into the third-best run differential in the AL with half of their lineup refusing to hit. Will that trend continue on Wednesday night?
Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays’ lineup has been subpar relative to the expectations coming into the season. Only Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Bo Bichette post strong xwOBA’s at .350 or above. Teoscar Hernández, Cavan Biggio, and Marcus Semien are some notable names who have yet to hit up to their own standards. Toronto does have 16 homers off of right-handed pitching, but its .370 overall slugging percentage as a team has not turned around yet.
The Blue Jays have an over-performing bullpen with a 2.24 combined ERA and 4.26 xFIP, and that will be a crucial inflection point in Wednesday’s matchup, since they start Trent Thornton in a likely bullpen day. Fortunately, for Toronto, Ryan Borucki, Tim Mayza, and Tommy Milone did not throw in Tuesday night’s loss to the Boston, so the Blue Jay hurlers should have plenty of available options, even with Tyler Chatwood and Julian Mayweather sidelined.
Some teams, like the Rays are Brewers, are built to withstand bullpen days. The Blue Jays are not, generally speaking, as while the bullpen has been a bright spot so far, regression is likely coming, given the group’s overall BABIP luck. If it hits on Wednesday night, the Red Sox hitters should have a field day against Thornton & Co.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have been the most successful offense in MLB with a 128 wRC+ thus far, and continued that success on Tuesday when they put up four runs and eight hits on Hyun-jin Ryu in five innings.
They have seven players over a .340 xwOBA, so this is no mistake. There are not too many holes in the lineup. They murder righties with a .299 average against, so this plays into their hands Wednesday with Thornton starting and only a few lefties available for the Blue Jays. Even still, they should have plenty of success against a variety of throwers.
The Boston bullpen ranks in the top 10 in xFIP, but has been slightly lucky with a 2.91 combined bullpen ERA. This will come back to earth a little, but as of now, Tanner Houck, Matt Barnes, Garrett Whitlock and Adam Ottavino are all fantastic options for needed relief. Eduardo Rodríguez logging six innings Tuesday definitely helped, too.
Blue Jays-Red Sox Pick
Outside of his first outing of the season, Garrett Richards has only allowed two earned runs in 10 innings. He has also limited barrels to 4.8%, per Statcast. Facing a Blue Jays lineup that has not quite put it together yet should play into his hands. Bear in mind, Richards ranks in the 13th percentile in the league in chase rate, but the Toronto lineup will do him some favors, since they only walk 7.4% of the time. They also only hit .224 off of righties so far this season
The flexibility of Richards to go five-plus innings with strong bullpen options following him should negate the chance of a rebound for the Toronto lineup. Boston’s bats will continue to hit, especially if they see plenty of right-handed pitchers out of the Toronto ‘pen. They have very few weak spots in comparison to the Blue Jays. Take the Red Sox to -130.
Pick: Red Sox -120 (play to -130)