Rick Porcello (6-12, 5.21 ERA) and Mark Buehrle (14-6, 3.53 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Boston Red Sox (64-72) and the Toronto Blue Jays (78-58) at Fenway Park. Action begins at 1:35 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 7 and can be seen on NESN and RSN.
Porcello pitched 8.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering one, striking out 13 and walking one in a 3-1 defeat to the Yankees. David Ortiz (.268, 62 Rs, 31 HRs, 86 RBIs) went 1 for 1 yesterday with one run, one home run, and three RBIs. Buehrle went 6.0 innings, surrendering one, striking out two and walking two in a 9-2 win over the Tigers in his last outing. Josh Donaldson (.302, 105 Rs, 36 HRs, 114 RBIs, 5 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Blue Jays, going 2 for 3 yesterday with one run and two RBIs.
Toronto takes on Boston as a -126 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at nine runs. The Red Sox have an overall money line of -1,262 and a record as the underdog of 27-33. Boston has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 10-15 and 21-32 as the underdog and SU respectively. The Red Sox lead the AL in hits at home with an impressive 10.2 per game. Boston's batters do not strike out very often, with only 6.9 per game. Boston's pitchers fall apart when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 5.5 against fellow AL East members, compared to its 4.8 season average.
In the other locker room, Toronto is coming in with an overall money line of +765 and an impressive record of 58-30 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 7-3 record, and a 7-3 record SU. Offensively, they average 5.5 runs per game, which is tops in the AL. The Blue Jays are tough outs for opponents, ranking fourth in the AL with 9.0 hits per game. Toronto is excellent at drawing walks with an AL-best 3.4 per game. When it comes to issuing walks, the Blue Jays have the fewest in the AL with only 2.5 walks allowed per game.
The Blue Jays lead the season series, 7-6. The Red Sox have a 16-21 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Buehrle takes the mound. Porcello (RHP) will be on the hill against the Blue Jays, who have a 58-46 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Tor, O/U - Over
The Red Sox currently sit below .500 against the AL East Division at 21-32, and the Blue Jays have a 29-24 record.
The Red Sox are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Blue Jays have a 14-14 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Red Sox are 14-60. The Blue Jays have a 13-46 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Toronto has hit 189 this season. Boston ranks 15th with 132 home runs.
Boston and Toronto both rank in the top five of the league in hits. Boston sits at third with 9.24 hits per game and Toronto ranks fourth with 8.97.
Ranking first in on-base plus slugging percentage, Toronto has an OPS of .791 this season. Boston ranks sixth with an OPS of .743.
The Blue Jays are 44-41 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Red Sox are 31-59 when they allow at least one homer.