Thursday, June 27, 7:10 p.m. (ET)
Television: MLB Extra Innings
MLB Betting Odds: VietBet
Money Line: Toronto (+157) Boston (-167)
Total Line: 10
The Blue Jays recently reeled-off 11 straight wins to climb back in the AL East title race. However they needed a 3-0 victory over Tampa Bay on Wednesday as even money road underdogs to avoid a three-game sweep. They are now 39-38 on the year and 17-21 on the road. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last seven games.
Toronto is ranked eighth in the AL in pitching with a team ERA of 4.06 and eighth in the league in scoring with an average of 4.6 runs a game, but the team dramatically improved its performance in both of these areas during its recent run. The concern coming into Game 1 of this four-game series is getting outscored 9-5 during this week’s series against the Rays. The Blue Jays will go with Chien-Ming Wang as their starter for Thursday night. Since being called-up back up from the minors the right-hander has produced two quality starts in three outings with an ERA of 2.18. Lifetime against the Red Sox he is 6-6 with a 4.98 ERA.
Boston is 3-2 in its last five games but it has hammered-out 34 runs over the course of these five outings. This week it beat Colorado by a combined score of 16-7 in a quick two-game set at Fenway Park to improve to 47-33 on the year and a solid 25-15 at home. It currently has a 3.5 game lead over New York and Baltimore in the AL East. Given the amount of runs that the Red Sox have been scoring lately it is easy to see why the total has gone OVER in four of their last five games.
The power in Boston’s lineup is obvious with a MLB-high 5.1 runs a game, but its pitching staff has kept pace with a team ERA of 3.87. The Red Sox will go with Jon Lester as their starter for this division showdown opener. The left-hander is just 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA in his last five starts but he is 7-4 overall with an ERA of 4.57. Lester has already posted a 2-0 record against the Blue Jays this season with a 2.05 ERA.
Free MLB Pick
This should be an entertaining series between these two division rivals, but as far as the free MLB pick for Thursday night’s opener you have to go with Boston to grab the early edge with the win. The Red Sox’s bats will pose a challenge to whichever pitcher in on the mound for Toronto and Lester’s past success against Toronto clinches the victory for the home team.
Boston 6 Toronto 3