Matchup: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Date/Time: July 28, 7:10 p.m., ET
Probable Starters: TOR: R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.04) v. BOS: Clay Buchholz (5-6, 5.50)
Moneyline: Boston -137
Total: 8.5 -115/-105
A day after snapping a 17-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium, the Toronto Blue Jays won their first series in New York since August 27-29, 2012 and they’ll try to take that momentum with them to Fenway Park. The Red Sox held on to salvage the finale of their big series down in Tampa Bay, but they are now 10.5 games behind Baltimore and may officially be sellers for Thursday’s trade deadline. Monday’s game will be a rematch of last Wednesday’s meeting between the same two teams and same two pitchers, a game that the Blue Jays won 6-4.
With their series win in New York, the Blue Jays moved into second place in the AL East and will send R.A. Dickey to the mound in hopes of moving a half-game closer to the Orioles, who have Monday night off. After allowing 35 home runs in 224.2 innings last season in his return to the AL, Dickey has allowed 19 in 138 innings this season. His biggest problem has been pitching with runners on base, as opposing hitters are batting .302/.397/.545 with men on. With the bases empty, opposing batters are hitting just .208/.271/.354.
Clay Buchholz missed a month with a knee injury from May 26 to June 25 and he’s been a different pitcher since. Prior to the injury, Buchholz had decreased velocity and a very ugly 7.02 ERA. He had 39 strikeouts against 24 walks in 50 innings and opposing batters had a .905 OPS. Since his June 25 return, Buchholz has a 3.67 ERA in 41.2 innings with a 27/5 K/BB ratio and his velocity is back up near 93 mph on average. Batters have posted a .663 since the DL stint.
Dickey will be facing the Red Sox for the 14th time overall and the fifth time as a member of the Blue Jays. In two starts last year, Dickey was 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA. This year, the tables have turned and Dickey is 2-0 with a 3.65 ERA. The Blue Jays are 10-12 in Dickey’s 22 starts for a loss of 3.63 units.
Buchholz will be facing the Blue Jays for the 22nd time and for the 21st time as a starter. Overall, Buchholz is 10-7 with a 2.86 ERA, but he’s 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA this season. The Red Sox are 7-9 for a loss of 5.15 units in Buchholz’s 16 starts, but they are 3-3 since he returned from the DL.
Free MLB Pick: Toronto
The Blue Jays look like they’re starting to play well again, while the Red Sox likely had the fate of their season sealed with the series loss at Tampa Bay coupled with Baltimore’s series victory in Seattle to finish off a 6-5 West Coast road trip. After a dismal April, Dickey has a respectable 3.68 ERA over his last 16 starts. The Blue Jays have taken seven out of ten against the season series so far and the value looks to be on them as a team that has made almost six units of profit as an underdog this season.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.