JFtC Looks into this weeks series with the Boston Red Sox
After splitting series with both the Giants and the White Sox, the Blue Jays come back home to the Rogers Centre to take on the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Although the Jays have played them once already this series (split the series 1-1), the four-game set looks like one that will be met in fireworks.
The Blue Jays managed to split a series against the White Sox winning by a score of 1 -2 on Friday and 5-2 on Sunday. Some highlights include two big home runs from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., as well as a solid weekend at the plate from Brandon Drury, Freddy Galvis, and Eric Sogard. Marcus Stroman had a solid start Thursday and the offence didn’t show up in another frustrating effort. Saturday’s game finished in five innings on account of rain, as Ryan Feierabend didn’t fare well in his Blue Jays debut, losing the game by a score of 4-1. Trent Thornton had a solid start Sunday, but it was Daniel Hudson who was dubbed the winning pitcher for the Blue Jays.
Since the last meeting
When the Jays last saw Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox, they had a record of 4-9. Going into Monday’s game, the Red Sox have managed a 24-22 record. Although the rotation is back down to average, a lot of the credit for the Red Sox getting over 500 has been the bats. Mitch Moreland has managed to hit 12 Home Runs. JD Martinez is leading the team with his .315 Batting average with Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez also over .300. The rotation hasn’t been that great for the Red Sox as Chris Sale has been probably the best starter in their rotation with a 4.24 ERA this season, which may explain his 1-5 record going into Toronto.
What do the Blue Jays need to do?
Bring their confidence home. While the Blue Jays have had issues with the bats at home, they have been able to gain some confidence on the road. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is starting to look like the player fans had been hoping for, and they were able to get runs for their pitchers and get into scoring position. The Blue Jays are currently 29th when it comes to hitting in their own ballpark as the only team behind them is the Miami Marlins who may have a historically poor season. Whatever is going on at the Rogers Centre, this would be the series to figure things out.
Finish the inning
Before the last series, we mentioned that the Blue Jays are the worst team in baseball when it comes to hitting with two outs. After a great series for hitting with two outs, the Blue Jays have managed to get out of the basement and move up to 29th in the majors. On the other side, the Boston Red Sox are currently second-best when it comes to hitting with two outs. So the Blue Jays pitchers have to make sure they are saving their best stuff for the end of the innings as extending these innings could be the difference in this series.
Get Ahead Early
The Red Sox have shown that they are fairly dominant towards the beginning of the game. As pitchers perform well through pitches 1-25, it could be an act of confidence if they throw their fastest stuff early. One of the things the Blue Jays can do is take the first strike so the Red Sox pitchers have to throw that much more to them. With pitchers like Chris Sale who rely heavily on striking batters out, taking pitches can get him out of the game sooner rather than later.
Frankly, I’m not too sure what to expect. The Red Sox have lost two of the last three to the Houston Astros, but have been on a tear this month. As Stroman doesn’t seem to get run support, I find it hard to believe they win with him on the mound. Edwin Jackson makes his home debut for the Blue Jays so I don’t think that will go well. So I think it’s fair to say that the Red Sox will take three games out of four this series.