The Toronto Blue Jays (22-17) will face the Boston Red Sox (25-17) to begin a three-game series on Tuesday, and it’s possible that the order atop the American League East division could soon be changing hands. The Red Sox sit alone atop the AL East, as they have since April 11, but the Blue Jays are just 1.5 games behind. That mean’s Tuesday’s game cannot vault the Blue Jays again, but it can put them in position to do so later in the series. Toronto has won five of six, while Boston has lost four of seven.
Free Picks: Toronto Blue Jays vs Boston Red Sox
Ryu, Blue Jays looking for revenge after prior start went awry
Hyun Jin Ryu is the undisputed ace of the Toronto Blue Jays’ staff, but he sure didn’t look like it the last time he faced the Boston Red Sox. Ryu allowed eight hits and four earned runs in just five innings when he started against the Red Sox last month in what was definitely the worst outing of his season.
He’ll have a chance to get back on track against Boston when Toronto hosts its division-leading foe on Tuesday, when the Blue Jays as surprisingly short -147 money line favorites (10Bet) on the day’s MLB picks. The Red Sox are +120 money line underdogs (10Bet) despite beating Ryu and the Blue Jays a few weeks ago (the teams split a pair of games at Fenway Park).
Ryu’s opponent will be Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez, who was the winning pitcher of record in that April 20 game that Boston won, 4-2. “E-Rod” allowed two runs on three hits in six innings while striking out six, which is an impressive stat line against a rather deep Blue Jays’ lineup.
Toronto boasts one of baseball’s best and hottest hitters in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has homered in his past three games (for the first time in his career) and has compiled a staggering 1.049 OPS so far this season. On Sunday, the Blue Jays matched a season best with 16 hits — and oh, by the way, they’ve hit more home runs than anybody else. They had two against Rodriguez in their last meeting.
Let’s give the Red Sox’s offense some credit too, though. Led by J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts (both with OPS totals above 1.000), Boston has a lineup that on most nights inspires just as much fear as Toronto’s. They’re also welcoming back Enrique Hernandez from the 10-day injured list, and while he’s just an average hitter (99 OPS+) he gives them a steady presence at second base that they’ve recently missed.
Boston has sat cozily in first in the American League East for over a month. Is it time for a new team to take over the top spot? If Toronto intends to compete for the division crown toward season’s end, it’ll need Ryu to step up and act like an ace in matchups like this one.
We are admittedly enticed by Boston’s juicy underdog line, but it’s difficult to deny how hot Toronto has been. In anticipation of a better outing from Ryu, we’ll roll with the favored Blue Jays for this BetPicks prediction.
- Toronto is 7-3 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in four of the Blue Jays’ past six games
- Boston is 6-4 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in seven of the Red Sox’s past 10 games
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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).