The Boston Red Sox needed a feel good game to get the confidence back and that’s what happened last night against the Tampa Bay Rays. 1-4 in their last five games, the Red Sox made sure they didn’t add another loss and get into a legitimate skid. The Blue Jays keep winning ball games, including another win yesterday thanks to Josh Donaldson keeping his hot bat going. It’s pretty much accepted that there is no room for a losing streak at this point.
Not only could it knock a team out of contention for the American League East, but it could result in removal from the Wild Card game as well. There are several teams bunched up there and it’s going to be a 100m dash to the end, with the survivors winning by a split second, so to speak.
The Red Sox offense came out to play last night, putting up 9 runs on the board in a 9-4 victory. They need more of that, because I don’t know if the Jays are going to hit a sudden stall. If J.A. Happ continues pitching like he’s been throughout the regular season, I expect them to reach the World Series after suffering heartbreak last season against the Kansas City Royals. There were some controversial calls there, something the Blue Jays are hoping to avoid this time around, if they make the postseason that is.
I would be surprised if they don’t, but you never know, especially when the margin for error is ultra-thin. The Red Sox will turn to Drew Pomeranz tonight, who will be facing Jake Odorizzi for the Tampa Bay Rays. Both pitchers have been playing well lately. We’ll see what happens when the pressure is on Pomeranz.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
Jake Odorizzi (9-5, 3.81 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (2-3, 4.06 ERA)
The early season struggles of David Price are rearing its ugly head now. A lot of people will just look at the last week or two at this point in the season, but every game counts, even in May. You think if Price was pitching at his level, the Red Sox would be in 1st right now, no questions asked. Instead, the Red Sox are going to have to fight it out and hope for the best. The Red Sox do not have the same kind of pitching they had win they were winning the World Series a few years back. It’s going to be all on the offense to carry the weight here. And the thing is, their offense is completely capable of doing that. However, good pitching can be more consistent throughout a postseason than an offense. Even the best offenses will go through a few games where they are stagnant. The best pitchers, though, aren’t going to give you three bad starts in a row.
This is David Ortiz last crack at it, according to him anyway. The prospect of him going out without at least a win in the postseason seems like a bad ending to a good story. Ortiz already has the World Series’ rings on his hand, but it would be a fitting way for him to go out on top. Derek Jeter wasn’t able to do, we’ll see if Big Papi can. This is a play on the Red Sox offense. I think they broke out of the funk they were in last night and are going to push their foot down on the pedal hard. Pomeranz is an adequate pitcher, Odorizzi is an adequate pitcher, there really isn’t much separating them. But the difference in this game is going to be the Red Sox offense, which I think gets going this week. They take it and win by more than a run.
PICK: RED SOX -1.5 (+115)