Think the Red Sox are tired of facing their division rivals? They are in the midst of 22 consecutive games against AL East foes and close a three-game home series on Wednesday against Toronto. The Sox are -121 favorites on MLB odds with a total of 9.
What You Need To Know
Both teams have regulars on the disabled list. On Saturday, the Red Sox placed outfielder Shane Victorino on the DL.. Not much of a loss there as Victorino was hitting just .143 with two RBIs. Ideally he comes back and hits well so Boston can trade him because the Sox still have a glut of outfielders. Sox first baseman Mike Napoli didn't start Monday or Tuesday against the Jays because of an illness so he's questionable for this one. He's also scuffling, batting .168 with a homer and four RBIs.
Toronto's loss was pretty significant as shortstop and offensive catalyst Jose Reyes, the team's leadoff hitter, was placed on the disabled list following Monday's 6-5 loss in Boston. He suffered a cracked rib while swinging in an April 10 game in Baltimore. He tried to play through it and the switch-hitter was hitting exclusively from the right side of the plate to limit the pain. However, Reyes was just 3-for-23 over the past week and is down to .250 on the season. Too bad as he was off to a good start. Reyes is injury-prone and this is the third straight season on the disabled list for him. Ryan Goins will get most of the starts at short with Reyes out.
Somehow the Jays lead the majors in homers despite averages below the Mendoza Line from Russell Martin, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. The latter just returned Monday from missing nearly a week with a shoulder injury.
The Red Sox gave new acquisition Rick Porcello a four-year, $82.5 million extension before he made his first start in a Boston uniform. It's too early to say oops yet, but there might be some concerns. Porcello (1-2, 6.48 ERA) had a quality start the day after signing that deal in Philadelphia. However, since then he has allowed at least four runs in each of his next three starts. Last time out in Baltimore he allowed four runs and six hits in six innings in a no-decision. He has 7.62 ERA in two home starts thus far. Last year while with the Tigers, Porcello was 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA in two starts vs. the Blue Jays. They hit .265 off him with nine hits in nine innings. Bautista hits a robust .471 off him in 17 at-bats with three RBIs but has yet to homer. Encarnacion is 6-for-15 with four doubles and three RBIs. Martin is 1-for-11 with three strikeouts. The Sox could use a good Porcello start because their starters' ERA is by far the worst in the majors. Ready to call Philadelphia for Cole Hamels yet?
Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (0-2, 5.25 ERA) starts for Toronto. Sometimes that knuckler just isn't knuckling and it can lead to an ugly outing. MLB odds makers realize that was very much the cast last time out as Dickey was knocked around for eight runs and nine hits in 4.2 innings without a strikeout in a blowout loss at Tampa Bay. Dickey was pretty solid in his first three starts. Last year, Dickey was 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in four starts against Boston, holding Red Sox hitters to a .224 average. He allowed 28 hits and struck out 31 in 32.1 innings. At Fenway, he was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts. You may want to consider a David Ortiz hitting prop on Wednesday as Big Papi is 6-for-18 with two homers and six RBIs off Dickey. Xander Bogaerts is 6-for-11 with two doubles. Hanley Ramirez hits .286 off him with three doubles and three RBIs in 21 at-bats. Dustin Pedroia is only 5-for-27 off Dickey. The Jays are 6-14 in Dickey's past 20 road starts overall.
MLB Picks: That this is a Wednesday game doesn't bode well for Boston as it has won just one of its past nine on the day. Certainly take the 'over' with your MLB picks here. Dickey seems to like Fenway so take Toronto.