Thursday, July 18, 2024
Sportsbook Advisor

MLB Preview: Boston Red Sox (74-73) at Toronto Blue Jays (80-67)


STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox went 2-5 over their 7-game homestand vs. BAL (1-2) and NYY (1-3)…They have lost 7 of their last 9 games and 12 of their last 17. The Sox are 18-23 in 41 games since the start of August. At 74-73 (.503), Boston is tied with the New York Yankees for MLB’s 17th-best record.

SERIES BUSINESS: Boston lost their 4-game series vs. NYY to fall to 23-21-3 in series play…They’re 1-5-0 in their last 6 series, after going 3-1-1 in their previous 5. SOX & JAYS: The Red Sox are 7-3 against the Blue Jays this season…They’ve lost each of their last 3 meetings after winning each of the first 7. In 2022, the Red Sox went 3-16 vs. TOR…They entered this season on a 9-game losing streak vs. TOR.
ROGER THAT: Boston swept Toronto in a 3-game series at Rogers Centre from 6/30-7/2…It marked the Sox’ 1st sweep of 3+ games at the venue since 8/28-30/2017. The Red Sox own a 148-119 (.554) all-time record at Rogers Centre…They have won more games than any visiting team at the venue and own the best winning percentage of any AL team, including TOR…The only other teams with 100+ wins are NYY (131) and BAL (109).

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Red Sox tonight begin a 6-game road trip at TOR (3 games) and TEX (3). 10 of the Red Sox’ remaining 15 games will be on the road (3 at TEX, 3 at TOR, 4 at BAL). Boston is 8-5 in their last 13 road games since 8/18, and 2-1-1 in their 4 road series during that span.

EASTERN STANDARD: This series at TOR concludes the Red Sox’ stretch of 13 straight games against AL East teams, facing each divisional opponent over the span (3 at TB, 3 vs. BAL, 4 vs. NYY, 3 at TOR). 9 of the Sox’ 15 remaining games will be against AL East opponents (BAL-4, TOR-3, TB-2). The Red Sox are 22-21 against AL East teams this season (6-7-0 in series), after going 26-50 in 2022 (6-17-1 in series).

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: 12 of the Red Sox’ remaining 15 games will be against teams that currently have record of .500 or better (BAL-4, TEX-3, TOR-3, TB-2). The Sox have played 23 of their last 26 games against teams that are currently above .500…They’re 9-14 in those 23 games, including 4-12 in their last 16. BOS is 47-47 against teams with a current record of .500 or better, and 27-26 against teams below .500.

ON THE MEND: Zack Kelly and Corey Kluber are currently on rehab assignments…Kluber has thrown 3.2 scoreless innings in 2 starts for the WooSox (2 H, 3 SO) and is
scheduled to start tomorrow vs. Syracuse at 4:05 p.m. Kelly is scheduled to pitch for the WooSox this weekend…He’s allowed 4 runs in 4.0 innings over 4 outings with Single-A Salem (2), High-A Greenville (1), and Double-A Portland (1)

THE INCREDIBLE HOUCK: Tanner Houck is the Red Sox’ nominee for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award, recognizing the player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions both on and off the field.

YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Red Sox split a doubleheader against the Yankees at Fenway Park yesterday…BOS won Game 1 (5-0) and lost Game 2 (8-5). In Game 1, the Sox tossed their 4th shutout of the season (previous: 8/10 at KC)…Tanner Houck started and struck out 7 over 6.0 innings. Trevor Story hit a 3-run HR in Game 1 to extend Boston’s lead to 5-0, after Wilyer Abreu (3-for-4) hit an RBI single in the 1st inning and Ceddanne Rafaela (2-for-4) hit a solo HR in the 7th.

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Yesterday was the Red Sox’ 4th doubleheader of 2023…This is the 1st time Boston has hosted as many as 4 in a season since 1994. All 4 of Boston’s 1994 doubleheaders were in a 16-day span from 7/23-8/7/94…The 7/23/94 twin bill vs. SEA was played at Fenway Park due to tiles falling from the ceiling of Seattle’s Kingdome. Yesterday was the Sox’ 2nd doubleheader vs. NYY in 3 days, also hosting one on Tuesday…Prior to this week, the Sox hadn’t played 2 doubleheaders within the same series since 9/16-17/2006 at NYY.

FOREVER AND DEVERS: Rafael Devers hit his 170th career HR in Game 2 yesterday, tying Jackie Jensen for 13th most in Red Sox history…He’s 2 HR shy of tying Jim Rice for most by a Red Sox player prior to turning 27 years old. Devers has also tied Valdimir Guerrero for 2ndmost HR by a Dominican-born player before turning 27 (1st: Albert Pujols-250). His HR was his 398th career XBH, passing Adrián Beltré for 3rd most among Dominican-born players before turning 27 (1st: Albert Pujols-522, 2nd: César Cedeño-433).

ROOKIE BALL: Masataka Yoshida (535 PA) and Triston Casas (502) are the 1st pair of Red Sox rookies to record 500+ PA in the same season since Jim Rice (613) and Fred Lynn (605) in 1975 (source: Elias). Red Sox rookies have hit 47 HR this season, 2nd most in club history behind 1987 (67 HR)…The only teams with more HR by rookies in 2023 are CIN (55) and OAK (48).

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Since making their MLB debuts, Wilyer Abreu and Ceddanne Rafaela have combined to hit .368 (32-for-87) with 8 doubles, 3 HR, 16 runs scored, and 13 RBI. Abreu has posted a .367/.436/.510/.946 slash line with 10 RBI in 17 games…Rafaela owns a .368/.400/.632/1.032 line with 9 runs scored in 15 games.

ON THE OFFENSIVE: The Red Sox lead MLB in doubles (317)… Among AL teams, they rank 2nd in AVG (.263) and XBH (509), 3rd in SLG (.436), 4th in OPS (.765), and 5th in OBP (.329). BOS has 3 players in the AL’s top 15 in OPS, and 4 in the top 20 in AVG and OBP (see box on right). The Sox have homered in 30 of their last 32 games and 38 of their 41 games since the start of August. They’ve scored multiple runs in an inning at least once in 27 of their last 30 G (47 multi-run innings in that span).

LOCK IT DOWN: Boston owns MLB’s best record when leading after 6 innings (58-3, .951)…In 2022, they ranked 18th in MLB when leading after 6 (63-10, .863). The Sox lead MLB in save % (75.5; 40-for-53), after ranking 24th last season (57.4; 39-for-68).

MARTY PARTY: Chris Martin has allowed only 1 run in his last 34 outings since 6/9 (30.2 IP)…He leads MLB with a 0.29 ERA in that span (min. 20.0 IP). He has not allowed a run over his last 16.0 IP, the 3rdlongest active scoreless streak among relievers and 1.1 innings shy of his career-long 17.1 IP (9/4/22-4/9/23). Overall, his 1.12 ERA (6 ER/48.1 IP) ranks 2nd in MLB (min. 40.0 IP) behind TB’s Shawn Armstrong (0.77).

2023 12-8 3.68 25 25 142.0 58 19 38 117 1.28 .262
CAREER 14-16 3.97 38 36 199.1 88 20 65 172 1.42 .278

Earned his team-leading 12th win on Sunday vs. BAL…Allowed 3 runs over 5.0 innings (7 H, 3 ER, 4 SO). The Red Sox improved to 17-8 in his starts (7-2 in his last 9, 12-4 in his last 16). Leads Sox starters in ERA (3.68)…Owns a 3.38 ERA in his last 7 starts (15 ER/40.0 IP). In 7 starts vs. AL East teams in 2023, is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA (14 ER/42.0 IP)…Allowed 4 runs (2 ER) over 5.0 IP in his lone start vs. TOR this season (W, 6 H, HR, BB, 5 SO). Leads Red Sox pitchers in wins (12), starts (25), and innings (142.0)…The last pitcher to lead BOS in each of those categories was Eduardo Rodriguez in 2019; the last to do so in an age-24 season (or younger) was Roger Clemens in 1987. Opponents have hit .182 (26-for-143, 7 XBH) with 51 SO against his changeup.


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