MLB Picks: Blue Jays To Top Red Sox In their Visit To Fenway Park

Jay Pryce

Sunday, April 17, 2016 1:14 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 17, 2016 1:14 PM GMT

The cold-hitting Blue Jays hope to stop a two-game skid when they take on the Red Sox at Fenway. Toronto hasn't lost three in a row in Boston since 2013. Do they turn it around today? MLB pick here.

Toronto Blue Jays (5-7) - Aaron Sanchez (0-0, 1.38 ERA)
Starter Aaron Sanchez looked dynamite in his first two outings, victimized by poor run support and two ill-timed homers. The young righty has surrendered only two earned runs on eight hits in 13 innings of work to start the year.

What's more impressive is that hitters are failing to hit his stuff flush. He's allowed just five batted balls to travel 90mph or faster from contact in 188 pitches, or 2.6 percent thrown. The average rate last season for balls hit this hard or harder by all MLB pitchers was 7.3 percent. Harder hit balls equal a greater chance for base hits, and they're tough to come by right now against Sanchez.

The big-hitting Jays lineup made Fenway play like a Little League park last season, averaging 6.8 runs on 10.3 hits per game. In half the meetings, one of the two teams put up 10 runs or more, including a mid-June affair where they both reached double digits in a 13-10 Toronto victory.

The last two contests have played out different entirely. Toronto, last season's top run-scoring team, can't get the bats going in 2016. Crossing the plate just 3.92 times per game (16th in MLB), it mustered a total of five runs thus far in the four-game series. Toronto's 124 strikeouts is a MLB-high.

 

Boston Red Sox (6-4) - Steven Wright (0-1, 1.35 ERA)
It's déjà vu for Steven Wright, whose only start this season was a 3-0 defeat to Toronto a week ago today. The 31-year-old pitched well enough to win, gifting just one earned on six hits in 6.2 innings, but was outclassed by Marco Estrada in defeat. Wright has taken the hill against the Jays two other times, both as a long-reliever. He's amounted a 2.63 ERA in 13.2 frames.

Toronto's current roster is 12 for 51 against the right-hander. Josh Donaldson has seen Wright the most, collecting two hits and four whiffs in seven plate appearances. Ryan Goins, in fact, is the only Jays hitter to crack an extra-base hit, a double. Check out the MLB odds boards for more statistics and betting info.

Boston is pushing over 5.3 runs per contest and hold the sixth best batting average in the majors at .281. David Ortiz has 59 home runs and 65 doubles against the Jays in his career, the most by any player versus the franchise in history. The Sox current roster is 12 for 48 against Sanchez, Ortiz the only hitter to slug an extra-base hit (double).

Final Analysis
Boston's staff, one of the worst in MLB last season, is starting the year strongly. They allow just 7.8 hits per game and their 28.1 percent strikeout percentage tops the league. A coaching change and the addition of ace David Price is the catalyst.

The Jays, though, haven't loss three in a row in Boston since 2013, and they have their hottest starter on the hill. We'll back another strong effort from the young Sanchez and bank on the Jays bats waking up against the Sox's No. 5 starter. Toronto -121 is the MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -121
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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