The Toronto Blue Jays have suddenly lost four straight games after their 2-0 start in Tampa. Playing nearly every day, things can change quickly in baseball. If you weren’t paying attention for a week you’d miss out on a lot of new news. Well, if you missed this weekend, the Boston Red Sox have been able to enforce their will over the Blue Jays. The Red Sox will go for the three-game sweep at the Rogers Centre this afternoon. The Blue Jays knew they were going to have to answer some questions about their pitching this season, and thus far they haven’t had many answers. Jay Gibbons said the knuckleball R.A. Dickey was throwing yesterday was the best he’s seen from him. Uh, well yeah, it would have been nice to not lose 8-4, too.
The Blue Jays turn to Marco Estrada against the Red Sox today. Estrada started the year on the DL, but has rounded into form, according to Blue Jays’ personnel. Estrada was a welcome addition to the Toronto starting rotation a year ago, and helped the Blue Jays reach the American League Championship Series. The Jays are hoping to get more of the same out of Estrada in 2016. They are going off a lot of hope with their pitching this season, and who knows how this ride is going to end for them. Losing David Price to the Red Sox in the offseason certainly doesn’t help any.
It’s equally important as a team and sports bettor to not get caught up in the hype of two or three games. A short memory is imperative. Baseball can be an extremely fickle sport with its fans. One day you’re the hero, and the next it’s to the unemployment line for him. I think some Blue Jays are jumping to conclusions at the moment after a 2-4 start to the season. Just like I have said in hockey, there is no reason to do that in the first month of the season. Let’s look for another winner today, after an easy winner Saturday afternoon in Detroit.
Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Steven Wright (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (0-0, 0.00)
Estrada pitched some of the best baseball of his career with the Blue Jays last year. He spent time with the Milwaukee Brewers of the National League for five years and two years in Washington. It is interesting perspective, as Estrada’s numbers actually jumped after coming to the American League. Pitchers often find the transition from the National League to the American League a difficult one, but Estrada was not bothered with the heavier offenses. He finished his 2015 campaign with a 3.13 ERA, including an impressive WHIP of just 1.04. Fingers are crossed in Toronto that he delivers something similar in 2016.
Another knuckleballer will be on display this afternoon in Toronto. This time for the Red Sox, as Steven Wright makes his first start of the year. Wright fought his way into the starting rotation after a fairly strong spring training. Wright is 31 years old, but does not have too much experience at the major league level. Last season was the most he ever pitched in three years, appearing in fourteen games with nine starts. He has only eleven starts in three years. Wright posted a 4.09 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP in 2015. If you’re hitting against a knuckleballer, it’s always nice to have one on your own team. Dickey had his shot yesterday, and now Wright will look to go out and get a win with his knuckleball. I believe the Blue Jays’ offense will wake up this afternoon. I hate to say due, but they are definitely due for a big showing at home in Toronto. I’m on the Blue Jays to take one game from the Red Sox as they conclude this three-game weekend series.
PICK: BLUE JAYS TO WIN -129