The Boston Red Sox are set to host the Toronto Blue Jays today in the second matchup of a three-game set at Fenway Park. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes our Blue Jays-Red Sox prediction and pick we have laid out below.
If the season ended today, the Blue Jays would find themselves in a wild card spot at 66-55. They’re also only 8 1/2 games back of the New York Yankees for the American League East lead, and although it would take a scorching hot finish to catch them, the Yankees’ second-half struggles have at least made such a possibility. However, with the Baltimore Orioles only 2 1/2 games back in the American League wild-card race, the Blue Jays also don’t have the luxury of going cold down the stretch.
Boston has been a bit of a disappointment in 2022, and at seven games back of the final wild card spot at 60-63, will need to pick up the pace to make the postseason a possibility. The Red Sox seemed to get back on track after what had been a rocky summer, snapping a four-game losing streak in early August to win six out of nine games. However, they enter today’s contest having lost back-to-back games — including a 9-3 loss to Toronto on Tuesday.
Here are the Blue Jays-Red Sox MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Blue Jays-Red Sox Odds
Toronto Blue Jays: -1.5 (+100)
Boston Red Sox: +1.5 (-120)
Over: 9.5 (-112)
Under: 9.5 (-108)
Why The Blue Jays Could Cover The Spread
In a matchup of two starting pitchers that haven’t performed well this year, the Blue Jays appear to hold a slight edge. José Berríos has left much to be desired in 2022, posting a 5.39 ERA, .279 opponent’s batting average, and 1.37 WHIP — all of which are the worst numbers of his career since his 2016 debut season. Albeit in a much smaller sample size, though, projected Boston starter Brayan Bello’s statistics have been even more concerning.
Since getting called up to the big leagues in early July, Bello has appeared in five games with three starts, posting an 8.47 ERA, .378 opponent’s batting average, and 2.29 WHIP. In his one appearance against the Blue Jays, which was also his most recent start, he took the loss while getting rocked for nine hits and five earned runs in just four innings. He has yet to make it past the fourth inning in a start this season, meaning a Boston relief staff that ranks second-to-last in the American League with a 4.52 bullpen ERA will likely be called upon to play a significant role.
The Blue Jays offense has been significantly more productive since the All-Star break, ranking sixth in the MLB in runs scored and seventh in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS — leading Boston in all of these categories. Toronto also has a few players who have heated up over the past week. Teoscar Hernandez, Jackie Bradley, and Alejandro Kirk have combined for 13 RBI and eight runs scored in the last five games, with Kirk and Bradley both batting above .315 during this stretch.
Why The Red Sox Could Cover The Spread
While Bello’s statistics have been undoubtedly worse than those of Berríos this year, one could argue that his small sample size makes his struggles less staggering than those of Toronto’s starter, who has been carried by the Blue Jays offense all season long. Berríos is having his worst month of a dismal season in August, posting an 8.79 ERA, .33 opponent’s batting average, and 1.74 WHIP. Bello, meanwhile, is Boston’s top pitching prospect for a reason. In 18 games in the minor leagues this season, he posted a 2.34 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while allowing opponents to hit just .186 against him. This indicates that, at some point, the 23-year-old will find his way to the big league stage.
As for the offense, Boston has displayed some improvement as of late. The Red Sox have scored five more runs than Toronto in the month of August while posting slightly better batting average and on-base percentage numbers. Against a starting pitcher that has been far from dominant in 2022, they could be in store for a big day at the plate. Outfielders Enrique Hernandez and Tommy Pham have both been impressive recently, combining for 10 RBI, five extra-base hits, and two runs scored over the past four games, with both hitting above .300 and posting slugging percentage numbers well above .500.
Final Blue Jays-Red Sox Prediction & Pick
While Toronto has been the better team over the course of the season, only one game separates the Blue Jays and Red Sox over the past 20 games. However, with Boston posting a sub.-500 record at home while going 39-50 against opponents with winning records, it’s tough to take them as the underdog on the run line, even at -120. The struggles of both starting pitchers, as well as the fact that the Red Sox will be forced to rely heavily on a rocky bullpen, makes the over a solid play here — especially if it drops to nine runs or less.
Final Blue Jays-Red Sox Prediction & Pick: Over 9.5 (-112)