Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox Pick 4/20/21
Toronto Blue Jays (7-9) vs. Boston Red Sox (11-6)
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 20
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Moneyline: TOR -105/BOS -115 (BAS - Why pay more for odds? Make the switch to reduced odds betting at one of the best bookies online!)
Runline: Jays +1.5/Red Sox -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Hyun Jin Ryu (1-1, 1.89 ERA, 0.89 WHIP) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0, 3.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
So far, Boston is making many prognosticators look rather foolish, as the Red Sox have shot to first place in the AL East in a year where they looked like they’d be competing with the Orioles to avoid the AL East base-ment. But there are real questions here about whether what Boston’s doing is really sustainable long-term because the Red Sox are not going to hit this well all season long.
Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez are good hitters, but they will not hit above .380 for the entire year. Nor will Boston continue to have nine different players hit .260 or better for the course of the season. For the Red Sox to keep things going, they’re going to have to be a lot more consistent with scoring runs, as they’ve shown an annoying tendency to bunch a lot of runs into games where they don’t really need the extra sup-port. The Sox just finished a four-game set with the White Sox where they outscored Chicago 21-16, but they only took two of four because they bunched 18 of their runs into the two games where they battered the White Sox’s staff.
This team is capable of staying in the race for several months, but only if it gets greater consistency from its lineup. If the Red Sox are going to compete long-term, they can’t have two players shoulder the load for the offense and expect everything to fall into place.
Not Quite a Mirror
At first glance, the Jays look a fair amount like the Red Sox, as they’ve been hitting the ball consistently for power. Where the Jays are different is that they don’t hit for average anywhere near as well as Boston does, and they tend to get the job done in the field.
The defense could create a considerable advantage for Toronto in this one, as Boston’s Fenway Park offers a weird, wild shape that can mess up a defense. The Wall gets all the attention, but the uniqueness of Fenway extends far beyond left field, which can lead an intelligent fielder to play to the dangerous parts of the park. If the Red Sox make a mistake on a ball hit to center field or right field, the Jays are talented enough to punish them on every opportunity.
However, the opposite side of the coin is Toronto’s struggles at the plate. If the Jays aren’t letting anyone on base, the Red Sox’s defensive issues won’t matter. The Blue Jays have to get at least one of their young stars rolling to get the attack back on track.
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There’s no denying that Ryu has become a genuine ace and the one pitcher that Toronto’s opponents fear when they step on to the field to face him. Ryu has looked strong at times and has certainly gotten himself out to the right start in 2021 with a resume packed with strikeout numbers.
The problem for Ryu and his team is that lately, his success has largely been a one-way situation. The Jays’ weak batting average meant they wasted his second start of the season, which saw him fan seven in seven innings but still come out the loser because of two runs he gave up back in the seventh inning, which was all the offense the Rangers needed. Still, this could be a good chance for Ryu to pick up a win because he’s up against a Boston side that strikes out roughly once every six at-bats. A strikeout pitcher with fine control like the Toronto ace is probably not the thing the Red Sox want to see right now, given their high rate of striking out.
- The Red Sox are 3-5 as a home favorite in 2021.
- The over is 6-2 in Boston’s past eight games at Fenway Park.
- The Blue Jays are 4-1 in their past five as a road underdog.
- The under is 7-2 in Toronto’s past nine road games.
- The Blue Jays have won three of the past four matchups at Fenway Park.
- The over is 3-0 in the teams’ past three meetings at Fenway Park.
The wind could put the over in play here, as it’s blowing west-southwest at nine miles per hour — or right toward the short walls in right field and right-center. Temperatures will be 63 degrees at the first pitch.
Given the pitching matchup and Toronto’s recent history against Boston, I think this sets up nicely to go with the slight underdog in this game. Ryu has been lights out as a starter, and I’m just not completely sold on the Red Sox to this point. This feels like a situation where regression to the mean is very plausible, and it’s a mat-ter of catching that game when it happens to maximize profits at the sportsbook.
Pitching wins, and I’ll take Toronto to come up with another win over a Boston team that’s been just ordinary, even if the Red Sox have a glittering record.