Rick Porcello cashed in on his one good season with the Detroit Tigers, taking a contract with the Boston Red Sox last season. The Tigers would have liked to keep Rick Porcello around, after six years pitching in Detroit, but they were willing to let him go and have somebody else overpay for his services. Surprisingly enough, sense the sarcasm, the Red Sox came knocking on Porcello’s doors. Porcello enters the second-year of his contract with the Boston Red Sox, hoping to look a lot better than he did a year ago.
There is little in what he did last season that has instilled any bit of confidence in Red Sox fans. Porcello has been a career 4.00 + ERA guy, so I’m not sure what they were really expecting, despite the one above average season in 2014 with the Tigers. Porcello tossed an ERA of 3.43 that year and the Red Sox saw it as a good time to bring him over from Detroit.
It’s been a series of important games for the AL East. Each team has gotten a healthy dose of the division, as the Blue Jays are coming off a series against the New York Yankees, and for the Red Sox they just lost two of three against the Orioles. This is the second series for the Blue Jays and Red Sox. In the first, the Red Sox took two of three from the Jays. It’s also a repeat pitching matchup on the mound, as R.A. Dickey and Rick Porcello face off on Friday. The first resulted in a 8-4 win for the Red Sox.
John Gibbons said it’s the best he’s ever seen of Dickey’s knuckleball. Hopefully for his Blue Jays, they can actually turn a win out of it this time. The Red Sox were able to take care of Dickey with ease, as his turbulent career as a Blue Jay moves forward. With the loss of David Price, it’s imperative that they find another arm to step up in a big way. Eyes are impatiently peering at R.A. Dickey to be that pitcher. Dickey will look to bounce back against the Red Sox tonight.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
R.A. Dickey (1-1, 8.10 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (1-0, 6.00 ERA)
This will be the second start for Dickey this season, and after the first two abysmal outings, the pressure is going to continue to get harder on him. A couple more showings like he had against the Red Sox in his last start, and the Blue Jays are going to have a decision to make. Dickey was taken for 7 runs in in 5 innings pitched, including 8 hits against. He had 9 Ks but that is the thing with the knuckleball, you are either get them swinging at air or connecting and crushing the ball. Hitters have been able to get a good look at knuckleball pitchers, more so than ten years ago, so I think it’s resulting in the pitch being a little less effective. Nevertheless, when that ball is dancing correctly, it can be a treat to try and hit. Dickey owns a 8.10 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over his first two starts of the season. Not good, not good.
Porcello will hope for some of the same run support he got in his first go around against the Blue Jays this season. The Red Sox helped him out with 8 runs to give him a win on the game, despite pitching for an ERA of 6.00. Jose Bautista connected on two two-run jacks in the contest to account for all of the Blue Jays’ runs. Porcello has never found success against the Blues Jays throughout his career. He possesses an ERA of 5.35 in 72.1 innings pitched against Toronto. Ditto for Dickey, who has been knocked around for a 4.50 ERA in 120 innings against the Red Sox. It looks like a similar story this evening. Bombs away at Fenway, as we anticipate a winner with the OVER 9, to start up another winning streak with my picks.
PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (+105)