Red Sox vs Blue Jays Series Preview: Red Sox Fighting to Keep AL East 2nd Spot

Red Sox Love June, Tearing it UP

Toronto Looking to Win 4th Consecutive Series Against Red Sox

With all the hype around the first-place New York Yankees, it might be easy to overlook the fact that the Boston Red Sox have the best record in Major League Baseball during the month of June. That hot streak will play a role in the Red Sox vs Blue Jays series preview.

Boston is 19-4 in the month. The Red Sox picked up seven games on Tampa Bay and 7.5 on Toronto to move into second place in the American League East standings. The Red Sox have the best ERA (2.66) as well as the top batting average (.261).

Toronto has won the last three series against the Red Sox. The Red Sox won the first game of the season between the teams before the Blue Jays won six of the next seven.

Toronto (+1100) is still ahead of Boston (+3300) in the odds to win the World Series. Toronto has the third-best odds (+500) to win the American League while the Red Sox come in seventh at +1600.

Red Sox vs Blue Jays Series Information

      • Game: Red Sox 42-31 (second in the AL East) Blue Jays 40-32 (third in the AL East)
      • Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto
      • Day/time: (teams also play at 7:07 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday)

Red Sox vs Blue Jays Probable Starting Pitchers

  • Monday: Connor Seabold (Red Sox) Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays)
  • Tuesday: Michael Wacha (Red Sox) Ross Stripling (Blue Jays)
  • : Nick Pivetta (Red Sox) Alek Manoah (Blue Jays)

Pivetta Leading Red-Hot Red Sox

The struggles for Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta at the start of the season seem like ancient history these days.

After going 0-3 with an earned run average of 8.27 in four starts during the month of April, Pivetta has turned things around as he is 8-2 with a 2.11 ERA over his last 17 starts. He is tied for the American League lead with four wins during the month of June.

Pivetta is a win shy of matching his career-high in victories and is providing the Red Sox with a quality option in its rotation. It doesn’t hurt that he has gone at least seven innings in four of his last five starts to take some of the pressure off the bullpen. His reliability will play a role in the Red Sox vs Blue Jays series preview.

The Red Sox are 8-1 in the last nine games started by Pivetta and he has allowed two runs or less in four of his first five starts during the month of June. The Boston Red Sox schedule has been challenging as of late with a three-game series against Cleveland (which Boston swept) followed by this showdown with Toronto.

Kirk Doing it All for Jays

It hasn’t been the best of months for the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto has dropped its last three series and now is looking up at not only the New York Yankees but the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings.

One player who has not been struggling during the month is catcher Alejandro Kirk. Only Houston’s Yordan Alvarez has a better OPS mark among qualified hitters in the American League than Kirk. He is batting .351 with seven home runs, 18 runs scored, 18 more driven in and he has also walked 12 times in 21 games. He will be front and center as part of the Red Sox vs Blue Jays series preview.

After playing in just a few games in 2020, Kirk got his first extended action in the majors last season when he hit .242 in 60 games. He has already topped his marks for runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, and walks. He is hitting .322.

Among catchers with at least 100 at-bats, he has the best batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and he is the only catcher with more walks than strikeouts. He has also thrown out 30% of the base runners trying to steal, which is above the league average of 23%.

Who’s Hot

  • Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays IF: Biggio is showing signs of emerging from a rough start as he is hitting .385 with two home runs, four walks, and five RBIs in his last five games.
  • Jarren Duran, Red Sox OF: Duran is batting .385 with four doubles, five runs scored, and four stolen bases over the last six games.
  • Matt Gage, Blue Jays P: Gage has allowed one hit over his last four appearances with five strikeouts and three walks in 4 2/3 innings of work.
  • John Schreiber, Red Sox P: Schreiber hasn’t allowed a run during his last 12 appearances. He has allowed five hits and struck out 13 over 10 innings during that stretch.

Who’s Not

  • Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox OF: Bradley is hitless in his last 16 at-bats over the last five games. He was walked twice and stolen a base.
  • Sergio Espinal, Blue Jays IF: Espinal is 3 for 23 with no extra-base hits over his last six games.
  • Rich Hill, Red Sox P: With a team ERA of 2.50 over the last six games, there’s not much to pick from in this department. Hill does have six walks in his last 11 innings pitched.
  • David Phelps, Blue Jays P: Phelps has allowed six hits and three runs over three innings of work in his last three appearances.

Injury Update

For the Red Sox, Duran is expected to be activated off the COVID-19 list before the start of the series. Pitchers Matt Barnes (shoulder), Nathan Eovaldi (back), Josh Taylor (back), and Garrett Whitlock (hip) could return by early July. The story is the same for outfielder Enrique Hernandez (hip).

The injuries for Toronto are more long-term, although pitcher Tayler Saucedo could be back by early July.

Red Sox vs Blue Jays Betting Analysis

Seven of the last 11 games between the teams have been decided by one run. That includes a 1-0 affair in the most recent meeting. With Seabold set to make his 2022 MLB debut, a pitching duel in Monday’s opener seems a little unlikely with the 9.5 run total among the highest of Monday’s games. Something to keep in mind for those who bet on MLB series, Toronto is favored to continue its recent dominance against the Red Sox with a series price of -220.

Wednesday’s pitching matchup between Pivetta and Manoah could be something special.

The home team is just 4-3 in the first seven matchups of the season between the division rivals.

Toronto has won the last four games in the series when at least 10 runs were scored.

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