MLB Odds & Picks for Red Sox vs. Blue Jays: Bet Toronto to Down Boston Again?
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Santiago Espinal (left) and George Springer (right).
- The Toronto Blue Jays take on the Boston Red Sox in an AL East showdown on Wednesday.
- The Sox almost snapped a three-game losing streak yesterday, but George Springer tied the game with a home run with two outs in the ninth inning.
- Check out Michael Arinze's full betting breakdown below.
Red Sox vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Red Sox Odds||+120|
|Blue Jays Odds||-145|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Boston Red Sox were one out away from snapping a three-game losing streak last night — until George Springer strolled to the plate for the Blue Jays and hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 5-5.
Toronto then completed the comeback with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th. It was the sixth victory in seven games for the Blue Jays and the sixth loss in seven games for the Red Sox.
Wednesday’s matchup will feature Michael Wacha getting the start for Boston, and Toronto will counter with Ross Stripling.
While both pitchers haven’t had much success pitching deep into games, we’ll learn that one of these teams is well-suited to handle the extra workload in their bullpen.
Boston’s Bullpen Continues to Struggle
After three straight games in which the offense scored just two runs per contest, the Red Sox might’ve snapped out of their funk with five runs on Tuesday night.
However, Boston still has a long way to go if it plans to improve its below-average wRC+ value of 77.
I went back to look at its schedule and found that four of Boston’s 11 losses were by one run. As a result, I don’t think this Red Sox team is that far from turning things around.
The real question will be whether or not Boston’s starting pitching will live up to its end of the bargain once the bats can get hot again.
Pitchers have certainly had the advantage this season, as 16 teams have a starters’ ERA below 4.00. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they’re in the bottom half of the ranking with a 4.12 ERA. Although Wacha leads the rotation with a 1.88 ERA, his 4.67 FIP and 4.12 xFIP make him a prime candidate for regression.
In his three starts this season, Wacha is walking 4.4 batters per nine innings, which is almost twice his mark in 2021 (2.24 BB/9). Thus, if he falls behind this Blue Jay lineup, things could go from bad to worse in a New York minute.
Toronto ranks second in baseball with a .177 ISO and eighth with a wRC+value of 113. Therefore, it’s tough to envision Wacha making a third trip through this Blue Jays batting order. Instead, we could see Boston go to the bullpen reasonably early in this game.
Although the Red Sox bullpen entered Tuesday with a 3.50 ERA, that number’s probably higher following a league-worst fourth blown save.
It’s worth noting that Boston doesn’t have an assigned closer, which could lead to its relievers being unsure of their roles within the bullpen.
Blue Jays’ Pitching Staff Pulling It Together
While the AL East figures to be competitive yet again, the Boston Red Sox could be the team on the outside looking in this time around.
Toronto won 91 games in 2021 and still missed out on a postseason berth. The Blue Jays were one of the hottest teams in the second half, but a slow start to the season cost them down the stretch. This season, Toronto’s fast start at 12-6 could be valuable later in the year.
Unlike the Red Sox, the Blue Jays appear to have more flexibility regarding the management of their pitchers. Toronto’s been developing hybrid pitching roles over the past few seasons, according to MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson.
Stripling is a pitcher who fits that mold, which could mean that Toronto’s decision to limit his innings is by design.
Toronto was wise in deciding not to re-sign relievers Travis Bergen, Tyler Chatwood, and Rafael Dolis. All three pitchers struggled mightily during the first half of last season as the Blue Jays had difficulty holding on to leads in the later innings.
With the Blue Jays’ revamped bullpen this season, their ERA is down from 4.08 to 2.65. And when you combine that improvement with this thunderous Blue Jays lineup, they’re seldom out of a game. Thus, limiting Stripling’s innings is more of a strength for the club than any failure.
Stripling finished the 2021 season with a 4.35 SIERA, and his traditional ERA (4.50) this year is right around that mark. While it’s still early, his advanced numbers point to some positive regression, as evidenced by a 3.27 FIP and 4.08 xERA.
What’s encouraging about this Blue Jays pitching staff is a real sense of calmness because everyone knows their role. Toronto’s pitchers seem to be fully bought in and ready to contribute whenever the manager calls their number.
Red Sox-Blue Jays Pick
My model is a bit more bullish on the Blue Jays, as it has them as high as a -146 favorite.
With both starters unlikely to pitch deep into this game, I think it will come down to the bullpen, where Toronto has the edge. As a result, I don’t think it’s all that relevant to focus on any trends that involve the starters.
My numbers have the Blue Jays as the right side in this matchup, and WynnBet is trading them at -137. I would play Toronto up to -145.
Pick: Blue Jays ML -137 (0.5 Units)
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