The Boston Red Sox have fallen on hard times, as they cannot seem to get out of their own way. Brayan Bello took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of a game they were shut out, and it was an ugly game for the Fenway faithful to have to stomach. Boston has the capability to make the third wild card spot, but it, unfortunately, seems to be the limit of the 2023 Red Sox, as evidenced by the strength of this year’s American League East division. One of the impressive teams of the AL East hosts the Red Sox, and would you believe that the Toronto Blue Jays — the current holder of the third wild card position — is in fourth place in the AL East?
Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pregame Analysis
Maybe the Red Sox can regain themselves with their second-best pitcher of 2023 on the mound: it will be James Paxton (LHP, 3-1, 3.19 ERA, 54 SO) against Jose Berrios (RHP, 8-5, 3.60 ERA, 87 SO). The Red Sox had been getting some good innings out of Paxton this season, but his injury troubles are a concern for Boston, a team that was starving for consistent pitching earlier this season:
23 strikeouts over 14 innings in two days for the Red Sox.
Meanwhile, James Paxton has left the game after 4 innings and 63 pitches. That can't be good.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 24, 2023
While the first few months of the season showcased a bottom-10 Red Sox pitching squad, they seemed to have regained themselves in some capacity. Over the last month, Boston is back to the middle of the pack in terms of pitching, but recently the offense has failed them. The Red Sox have not scored more than four runs since for more than a week.
Since Boston’s six-game winning streak to get them to four games above .500 on June 20, the Red Sox have lost on two walk-offs while just getting one meager victory. On the bright side, Paxton is back for Friday’s start. His knee flared up, but it may cause some concern for the remainder of 2023:
Paxton says his knee flared up a little bit toward the end of his last start in Minnesota. Thinks he just needs to strengthen it.
— Gabrielle Starr (@gfstarr1) June 24, 2023
Meanwhile, in the other dugout, Jose Berrios is finding himself after allowing a league-leading 199 hits and 100 earned runs last season. Toronto is 10-6 in Berrios’ starts this season, and he has won three of his last four games started. In his 10 starts, he has allowed more than three ones just once and more than two earned runs just twice. If Berrios looks like this on Friday, it may not be easy for the Red Sox:
José Berríos, Filthy Changeups. 👌👌 pic.twitter.com/mboP05Y37H
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 24, 2023
All lines and odds courtesy of BetMGM.
Betting Info for Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
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Moneyline: Boston Red Sox (+120)
Toronto Blue Jays (-145)
Spread: Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-165)
Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+135)
Total: Over 9 (+100)
Under 9 (-120)
Picks and Predictions for the Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-165)
Toronto seems to be a better squad than Boston this season, and with the pitching matchup on Friday, the Red Sox are at a slight disadvantage. However, the Red Sox are 4-0 against the Blue Jays this season. Boston should keep it close against Toronto. In Paxton’s last five starts, the Red Sox have gone 2-3. However, four of those contests were one-run games, and the other was a 9-3 Red Sox victory. There is a strong value with Boston +1.5.
Final Game Prediction, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-165)