JAYS FROM THE COUCH PREVIEWS THE UPCOMING BOSTON RED SOX @ TORONTO BLUE JAYS SERIES SET FOR THIS WEEKEND
The Blue Jays (24-25) heavy American League East schedule continues against the Boston Red Sox (29-18), as they start a six game divisional home stand. The pitching and offense have started clicking for the Blue Jays, taking down the New York Yankees two games to one, in New York. The Red Sox just took an inter league match up at home, against the Colorado Rockies, scoring runs left right and centre, boasting the second best run differential at +72 in the entire major league.
BOS – (Starters) 4.51 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 1.23 HR/9, 8.41 K/9, .247/.322/.404
TOR – (Starters) 3.59 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 0.84 HR/9, 6.92 K/9, .233/.297/.375
BOS – (Relievers) 3.04 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 0.68 HR/9, 10.12 K/9, .222/.311/.343
TOR – (Relievers) 3.91, 1.35 WHIP, 1.52 HR/9, 8.42 K/9, .261/.380/.576
Boston – .298/.362/.489 – 193 XBH
Toronto – .234/.314/.403 – 158 XBH
The rivalry between these two teams is long-standing, playing a total of 585 games against each other, the Red Sox have won 320 of those meetings, while the Blue Jays have won 265. The splits from road to home don’t favor the Blue Jays as well, at home the Blue Jays are 130-163 against the Sox, while on the road they are 135-and 157. This season the Blue Jays are 3-4 against the Red Sox, but are looking to gain some ground on the American League East divisional ranks.
First Pitch – 7:07 EST
A. Sanchez RHP (2016: 4-1, 3.20 ERA) vs. J. Kelly RHP (2016: 2-0, 5.28 ERA)
Aaron Sanchez will take the mound in the series opener. In his last start in Minnesota, Sanchez was backed by some heavy offense, scoring 9 runs on 14 hits, while Sanchez allowed 2ER over 7IP, striking out 7 along the way.
Sanchez has shown some success against the Red Sox, but most of his time on the mound has been while he was a reliever.
The Red Sox will counter with Joe Kelly, who the Blue Jays have had regular success against, batting .297/.411/.483 against him. The last time Kelly took the mound, he had a similar game to Sanchez as he was backed by 9 runs, only allowing 1 hit over 6.2IP, and striking out 7. Both pitchers are coming off hot starts, and hope to keep their hot streaks going Friday night.
Players to Watch:
Blue Jays Josh Donaldson is looking to get back on track and return to his MVP form this season, batting .246/.345/.503 Donaldson is looking to getting that average up to the .300 number and some easy hits might be just what he needs. Against Kelly, Donaldson is batting .579 in 17AB, with 6RBI.
While Jackie Bradley Jr. only has three at bats and is still looking for his first hit against Sanchez, his 29 game hit streak was snapped yesterday in the game against the Rockies. This tied for the third longest hit streak in Red Sox history, and Bradley will be looking to pick right back up on another hit streak tonight.
First Pitch – 1:07 EST
M. Stroman RHP (2016: 5-1, 3.89ERA) vs. R. Porcello RHP (2016: 7-2, 3.47 ERA)
Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman, takes the mound in the afternoon rubber match of this series. Stroman has had good success against the Red Sox hitters in the past, and in his last start against Minnesota, Stroman allowed one earned run in 7.2IP, working ground balls (63%GB%) to the Blue Jays infield defense.
Rick Porcello will head to the mound for Boston, who in his last game against the Indians only lasted 5.2IP, but was strong allowing 2ER and 1BB. Porcello has had some success against hitters like Ryan Goins, Russell Martin, and Troy Tulowitzki. Against the heart of the Blue Jays order, Porcello could struggle, as Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, and Justin Smoak have all had success against him.
Players to Watch:
Blue Jays –
Of those players mentioned above, it’s been Jose Bautista who’s had the most success against Porcello. In 30AB’s ,Bautista has batted .433/.528/.733, with 9RBI’s. Currently Bautista is on a seven game hit streak hoping to extend this streak throughout the weekend.
Red Sox –
One player who has hit well against Stroman is Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Speaking of hit streaks, Bogaerts’ is up to 19 now, and he continues to be one of the best in the league in working the ball to all parts of the field, and hitting balls for solid contact outside the zone, making him pretty unpredictable when stepping up to the plate.
First Pitch – 1:07 EST
R. Dickey RHP (2016: 2-6, 4.60 ERA) vs. D. Price LHP (2016: 7-1, 5.34 ERA)
In the final game of the series, the Blue Jays will have the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pitch, who backed up two of his best starts in his Blue Jays career, with some lackluster ones. Dickey has struggled to get a lot of run support this year, and with the Red Sox having one of the leagues best offenses, Dickey will have to particularly sharp on Sunday.
David Price is making his first appearance back to the Rogers Centre, where he last pitched in the 2015 Playoffs for the Blue Jays. Price signed with the Red Sox in the off-season, and things haven’t gotten off to the best of starts. Although his record suggest he’s winning games, his ERA of 5.34, and not making the seventh inning five time in his ten starts this season, doesn’t scream ace quality pitching. However Price still has his strikeout pitch working, with 76 SO already this season and a 10.97 K/9.
Players to Watch –
So far this season, we haven’t seen the numbers out of David Price we thought we would. The tough numbers you see against some of these batters might be thrown out the window for this game. Be on the lookout for Devon Travis, recently back from injury, Travis already has two hits in his first two games back.
The David Price return to Toronto is compelling enough for most casual fans to tune in for this game. Price will definitely have his adrenaline pumping and will be looking to put on a show for his former fans for this one.