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The Boston Red Sox have taken a little tumble coming out of the All-Star break, but they have a favorable matchup at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. It sets up AL East division action with the Red Sox looking to get back on track after dropping two of three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Aaron Sanchez working through monumental struggles
The first half of the season was nothing but disappointing for the Blue Jays playing their way completely out of the playoff picture well ahead of the All-Star break. This has seen them drop three out of their first five games to start the second half of the year and that has kept them on this low trajectory. The Blue Jays are coming off a 10-4 win on Tuesday night, but runs have been difficult to come by throughout the year. They are currently 25th in runs scored, 27th in hits, last in batting average, and 24th in slugging percentage. The Blue Jays haven’t had any standout play at any point this year despite having their promising talent Vladimir Guerrero Jr. move his way to the majors earlier this season. Guerrero Jr. is currently batting .245 with eight home runs, and 26 RBI in his first 65 games played. He has struggled this month at the plate hitting .206 with two RBI in 34 at-bats.
Late-game insurance? Nah.
We broke things WIDE open! pic.twitter.com/TD7Pgn6OKN
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 17, 2019
The run production has been largely lackluster while their pitching staff hasn’t fared much better, contributing to their shortcomings on the field. Right-hander Aaron Sanchez has contributed greatly to their woes as he holds a 3-13 record with a 6.22 ERA along with a 1.75 WHIP, a .290 opposing batting average, and 58 walks in his first 21 games played with 20 starts. Sanchez has been downright unreliable on the mound this season as that has seen him give up at least four runs in seven out of his last eight starts. Sanchez has become a clear liability on the mound, which could quickly cut ties to their strong win on Tuesday night’s win as the Red Sox should be in store for a bounce-back outing at home. The Blue Jays’ hopes on Wednesday lie simply on the 27-year-old to put forth a respectable outing against the defending champions. If not, it could be a long night at Fenway for Toronto.
Rodriguez hoping to get Red Sox back on track
It has been a series of ups and downs for the defending champions throughout the year as they have worked their way back from a sluggish start. The Red Sox have a tough hill to climb in the AL East with the New York Yankees in full control, but they have been in the mix in the AL wildcard picture. It has seen them work their way into a battle for the second spot with the likes of Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians. However, their recent stumble coming out of the All-Star break has pushed them three games behind the Athletics and Indians respectively in the process. Boston has been able to push forward behind the strong play of their offense with their core group leading the charge. All-Star shortstop Xander Boegaerts has been leading that effort in the process with what’s been a career-best campaign as he’s batting .312 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 91 games played.
The man simply cannot be stopped. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/vpJE53rXk0
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 17, 2019
Boegaerts has led the charge offensively this month as he’s batting .368 with four home runs, 15 RBI, and 10 runs scored. His play has been a primary reason for the Red Sox being able to turn things around and work their way back into playoff contention. What has also been encouraging is the play of reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts this month as he’s batting .410 with four home runs, eight RBI, and 16 runs scored. Although Betts hasn’t been extremely productive, his improved play at the plate getting on base could be a sign of things to come as it could be what he needs to recapture his MVP form from last year where he was a major asset on the base path along with being a strong source of power and production. What may ultimately turn the tide in their favor on Wednesday night is the strong play of right-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who holds a 10-3 record despite having a 4.43 ERA. Rodriguez has turned it up a notch in his last three outings giving up two or fewer runs in each game. The chance to face a struggling offense in Toronto could be what he needs to continue his forward trend.
- Red Sox are 23-3 in Rodriguez’s last 26 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Red Sox are 18-3 in Rodriguez’s last 21 starts during Game 3 of a series.
- Red Sox are 23-5 in Rodriguez’s last 28 home starts against a team with a losing record.
- Blue Jays are 0-6 in Sanchez’s last six starts against American League East division opponents.
- Blue Jays are 0-5 in Sanchez’s last five starts with four days of rest.
- Blue Jays are 0-4 in Sanchez’s last four starts on grass.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Red Sox have the ideal matchup against a struggling Blue Jays’ team that has had tremendous problems pushing their way forward this season. It has also helps that they will be sending Rodriguez to the mound as he’s hitting his stride over his last couple of starts. Boston is also 4-0 in Rodriguez’s last 4 home starts against the Blue Jays.
Prediction: Boston -263
Full-Game Total Pick
Rodriguez has been on his game in his last two starts, giving up just two total runs over that span. It also helps that Toronto holds one of the least productive offenses in the majors. Keep in mind, the under is also 6-1 in Rodriguez’s last seven home starts against the Blue Jays.
Prediction: Under 11