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Red Sox to Put Recent Blues Behind Them

Bounce-back performance is likely

Consecutive losses are rare for the Boston Red Sox, so they’ll be keen to bounce back against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Boston lost 6-5 to the Los Angeles Angels before losing the opening game of the series to Toronto. It was a one-sided shutout, so quick improvement is needed.

Enrique Hernández of the Boston Red Sox tags first after hitting a single in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images/AFP

The Blue Jays are the current favorites at the online sportsbook, but Boston loves the underdog tag and will be mightily dangerous.

Boston Strong as Underdogs

Betting against the Boston Red Sox as underdogs hasn’t been a smart move. They are 11-1 as underdogs, which is an overwhelming statistic.

MLB betting lines have the Red Sox as +105 dogs against Toronto, so bettors get good value for the American League East front-runners.

Despite losing 8-0 on Tuesday, Boston has a short memory and is due for a bounce-back effort. The Red Sox have Garrett Richards on the mound, who is 3-2 with an ERA of 3.89.

Richards comes off his season-best performance against the Oakland Athletics where he pitched six innings and allowed five hits for no runs. Earlier in the season, he pitched seven innings against the Oakland Mets and recorded 10 strikeouts.

Richards credits pitching coach Dave Bush for his form turnaround.

“So there’s just, there was too much going on, so we just tried to eliminate the first step, and just kind of put myself in a good position to throw the baseball. For me now I just worry about getting my leg up, keeping my weight over my back side, and from there just throwing the baseball down the hill,” Richards told CBS Boston. “It’s awesome. … It’s one thing to be able to be a smart pitching coach, but to be able to give me that information in a way that I can apply it, it’s kind of the next step.”

Blue Jays Lighting It Up

Defense hasn’t been a strong point for the Blue Jays, but the offense has been everything and more.

Toronto averages in the top 10 in all five major categories, including fourth in runs scored and batting average. They rank second in home runs with 56 and eighth in strikeouts with 8.70 per game.

Leading the way has been Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with 11 home runs and a batting average of .329. That’s an incredible average for a player who likes to hit bombs, so the future is bright for the talented youngster.

Randal Grichuk leads the team with 32 RBIs and it’s often a team effort for the Blue Jays. Not since the days of Jose Bautista has Toronto’s offense been so potent and it should give Richards plenty of trouble.

Going up against Richards is Ross Stripling, who is seeking his first win. The 31-year-old has started five games and is 0-2. He hasn’t got out of the third inning in two of his last four starts, including allowing three runs from 3.2 innings against Houston.

With an ERA of 5.91, Stripling is the weak link in the Blue Jays rotation, which is having a tough time as it is. The Blue Jays’ starters have an ERA of 4.48, but the relievers are 3.15, so they’re getting the job done in relief.

The numbers for the starters improve at home, but Toronto isn’t playing at Rogers Centre.

The Red Sox are 21-9 in the last 30 meetings in Toronto. However, it’s a home away from home for the Blue Jays.

Game 2 is being played at TD Ballpark in Florida, but the venue has been kind to the Blue Jays.

Boston is 6-1 in its last seven road games vs a team with a winning record, with the only loss coming on Tuesday. It’s also 7-1 in the last eight games as a road underdog.

The Blue Jays are 6-1 in their last seven overall and 5-1 in their last six vs a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.

Playing as a favorite is no problem for Toronto, which is 4-1 in its last five. It is also 4-1 in the last five against a right-handed starter.

The under is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings, but with the current line set at 9½ runs, offense is expected to fire.

Red Sox vs Blue Jays Pick

We like the Boston Red Sox to bounce back and overturn the poor result in Game One.

Richards is a solid pitcher and although the Blue Jays offense is on a tear, they’re due to have a night off sooner or later.

Getting better than even money for a team leading the division is good shopping and we can’t see them losing three consecutive games for the third time this season.

Take the value and expect the likes of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers to get hot.

Pick: Boston Red Sox +105

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