The Sox and Jays have split the first two games of this series at Rogers Centre; which way are we betting Wednesday afternoon's Canada Day bout?
Sox-Jays Wednesday Betting Odds
As of early Wednesday morning the best line we could find on Toronto and Mark Buehrle was the -145 offered at WagerWeb, while Boston and Rick Porcello could be found getting +140 at 5Dimes. Also, most of the MLB betting market opened the total on today's game at nine runs, but dropped that to 8.5 in the early betting.
Boston has taken the first two games of this four-game series, by scores of 3-1 Monday and 4-3 Tuesday. The Sox scored a pair of unearned runs in the first inning Tuesday night, which proved to be the difference.
Toronto is just 3-4 over its last seven games, but big-picture, at 41-38 the Jays are just one game off the lead in the AL East, and one game back in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
Boston, meanwhile, has won three games in a row, and at 36-43 sits six games from the nearest playoff spot.
The Jays lead this season series six games to five, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 5-4-2 margin.
Buehrle (8-4, 3.81), by our strict standards, is 9/15 on quality starts this season, running on a streak of seven in a row. Last Friday he held Texas to two runs through seven innings, and over his last five starts he's allowed just seven earned runs through 36 innings. For the season the veteran lefty has allowed 103 hits, including 12 home runs, through 99 innings; Toronto is 9-6 in Buehrle's starts, with the totals splitting 7-7.
This will be Buehrle's first start against the Red Sox this season; last season he started three times against the Sox, allowing nine ER and 25 hits through 19 innings. The Jays won two of those games.
Porcello (4-8, 5.54), again by our strict standards, is just 5/15 on quality starts, and 0 for his last four. Last Friday he gave up three runs through six innings against Tampa Bay, and over his last four starts he's been tagged for 18 runs through 22 2/3 innings. On the season Porcello has allowed 104 hits, including 13 ding-dongs, through 93 innings; the Sox are 7-8 in Porcello's starts, with the totals going 7-8.
Porcello has started twice against the Blue Jays since the beginning of last season (when he was with Detroit), holding them to four runs and eight hits through 14 innings; his teams split those two games.
Wednesday's Batting Splits
Boston ranks 26th in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .303 team on-base percentage.
Toronto ranks 13th against righties this season with a .320 OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Rogers Centre this season are 24-16 on the UNDERS, even though they've averaged 9.3 run per. Apparently oddsmakers have been posting some high totals on Jays home games.
Boston is still playing without 2B Dustin Pedroia, but OF Hanley Ramirez, who's missed recent action with a sore hand, could return to the lineup today.
Sox-Jays Free Picks
We'll give Buehrle the edge in the pitching match-up, and Toronto owns an edge with the sticks. We like the Jays today. Also, we could easily see this game getting to 5-4, so we like the OVER.