Experienced baseball bettors know that the Red Sox and the Blue Jays are familiar foes. Boston knows RA Dickey fairly well, and Toronto definitely knows Clay Buchholz.
Red Sox-Blue Jays Monday Betting Odds
As of early Monday morning the best price we could find on Toronto and knuckle-baller RA Dickey was the -123 offered at GT Bets, while Pinnacle was giving Boston and Clay Buchholz +116. And most of the market was listing the total on tonight's game at 8.5 runs.
Toronto just took two of three games from Texas over the weekend, winning Sunday 3-2. Just prior to that the Jays took two of three from Tampa. So surging Toronto is 6-1-1 over its last eight series, 18-6 over its last 24 games.
At 41-36 Toronto sits just one game out of first-place in the AL East, and a half-game off the pace in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
Boston, meanwhile, just took two of three games at Tampa over the weekend, winning Sunday 5-3. Just before that the Sox lost two of three to Baltimore. But going back a bit Boston is 2-1-1 over its last four series, 7-5 over its last 12 games.
Still, at 34-43 the Sox are 7.5 games from the nearest playoff berth.
Toronto leads this season series six games to three, with the totals going 4-3-2.
Dickey (3-7, 4.88), by our strict standards, is 7/15 on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last Tuesday he gave up three runs in seven innings against Tampa, and just before that he held his former team, the Mets, to one run through 7 1/3 innings. For the season Dickey has given up 91 hits through 96 innings, but 15 of those have left the yard. And his strikeout-to-walk ratio is down, at 60/37. Toronto is 7-8 in Dickey's starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 7-5 margin.
Over the last two seasons Dickey is 4/9 on quality starts against the Red Sox, allowing 21 ER through 51 1/3 innings; the Jays went 5-3 in those starts, with the totals going 3-3-2.
Buchholz (5-6, 3.68) is 9/15 on quality starts this year, and two for his last two. Last Wednesday he held Baltimore to one run through seven innings, and just before that he held Atlanta to two unearned runs through seven frames. On the season Buchholz has allowed 97 hits through 93 innings, and owns a 91/23 K/BB ratio; Boston is 6-9 in games Buchholz has started, but the UNDERS are 8-4.
Over the last four seasons Buchholz is 3/9 on quality starts against the Blue Jays, allowing 34 ER through 52 1/3 innings; the Sox went 4-5 in those games, with the totals going 5-2-2.
Monday's Batting Splits
Boston ranks fifth in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .327 team on-base percentage. Of course, Dickey isn't your average right-handed pitcher, but the Sox have scored 14 runs in three starts against him this year.
Toronto ranks 10th against righties this year with a .322 OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Rogers Centre this season are 22-16 on the UNDERS, even though they've averaged a healthy 9.5 runs per. Obviously, oddsmakers have been posting some high totals on Jays home games.
Boston spark-plug Dustin Pedroia is on the DL with a bad hamstring, and OF Hanley Ramirez, who leads the team with 15 homers this season, has missed recent action with a sore hand, and is questionable for this series.
Sox-Rays Free Picks
Toronto seems to have a read on Buchholz, so we'll take the Jays tonight. Also, both lineups are very familiar with tonight's starting pitchers, so we're thinking OVER.
MLB Picks: Toronto -123 & OVER 8.5 runs