7:10 p.m. ET – Blue Jays at Red Sox (-125 ML) O/U: 10
The 50-48 Blue Jays wrap up a four-game set against the 63-40 Red Sox on Thursday night at Fenway Park. Boston took Game One of the series 5-4 on Monday night before Tuesday night was rained out forcing the teams to play a doubleheader on Wednesday. Toronto won the opener, 4-1, behind a great outing from starter Robbie Ray and a 2-for-3 game with a home run and three RBI from outfielder Randal Grichuk.
About the Blue Jays
The Blue Jays currently reside in fourth place in the American League East, 10.5 games behind the first-place Red Sox. Toronto is averaging 5.2 runs per game this season, the second-most of any team in Major League Baseball. They have done it by ranking second in the in the big leagues in both batting average (.264) and home runs (150).
The 2021 All-Star game MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has come into his own in his third MLB season at the tender age of 22, as he’s batting .327 with 32 home runs and 80 RBI. Second baseman Bo Bichette earned his first All-Star nod this season and rightfully so, as he’s hitting .297 with 18 long balls and 68 RBI in 2021. There is no rush for Toronto to press at the trade deadline this season with these two leading the team at under 23 years of age. However, they have been talked about as potential buyers at the trade deadline with the emphasis on requiring pitching help that would remain under club control through at least 2022.
The pitching staff has not been terrible this season. With a team ERA of 4.04, they rank 12th in baseball. The reason to remain aggressive as they look forward to next year is that the division is loaded with talent and it is not going to get any easier for the Blue Jays in the years to come.
About the Red Sox
Boston sits atop the American League East, two games ahead of the second-place Rays. The Red Sox entered the season with little-to-no expectations for the 2021 season, but over 100 games in they have emerged are the biggest surprise in the American League. The offense scored 5.1 runs per game so far, 4th highest scoring average in the big leagues.
Third baseman Rafael Devers has been fantastic this season, hitting .286 with 27 long balls and 82 RBI. Left fielder J.D. Martinez and shortstop Xander Bogaerts joined Devers in the All-Star game this year as both are batting over .295 with over 16 long balls. The biggest question mark for Boston as the trade deadline nears is what they are going to do at first base. Since Mitch Moreland’s departure, the team has been scrambling to replace him with a competent slugger and there are a few available this trade deadline that could help them.
The pitching staff has been much like the Jays’ staff – not terrible, but not great — this season, and it owns the 13th-best ERA in the big leagues at 4.06. Ace Chris Sale is expected to rejoin the rotation in mid-August and that could help take this team to the next level as they look to fend off the Rays for the division crown down the stretch.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1½ (-180)||+105||O 10½ (-115)|
|Boston Red Sox||-1½ (+150)||-125||U 10½ (-105)|
The Pitching Matchup
Veteran left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu is toeing the rubber for the Blue Jays on Thursday night. Ryu is 9-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 110 innings of work across 19 starts this season. He allowed three runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings against the Mets his last time out. His last start against the Red Sox was May 18, when he threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
Boston is turning to left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for the series finale. Rodriguez is 7-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 96.1 innings across 19 starts in 2021. He was pulled after one inning on July 23 against the Yankees, but was able to avoid the injured list, which suggests the injury was very minor. He allowed five runs in five innings on May 18 against Toronto in their last matchup.