Blue Jays vs Red Sox – MLB Pick for September 26th
The magic number is three for the Boston Red Sox to clinch the AL East. Boston failed to deliver a win at home last night against the Toronto Blue Jays but will turn to elite ace Chris Sale (17-7, 2.75) to get back on the winning path.
This has turned into Boston’s divisional race to lose, as the Red Sox have still been scorching hot (8-2) over their last 10 contests. There isn’t much room for error, however, as the New York Yankees continue to nip at their heels (7-3 during that same span).
Boston’s main goal will be to simply hold serve at home, where they’ve gone a blistering 46-29 and have been extremely tough to beat. Toronto doesn’t have a shot at the playoffs, but they’ll be looking to play spoiler against a team they haven’t been able to figure out (5-12) in 2017.
The early edge absolutely goes to the Red Sox, who are at home, have tons to play for and have their best arm toeing the rubber. Vegas agrees, as Boston sports a fat -235 Money Line at top MLB betting sites.
There are a few things to get out of the way. First, we’re not wasting time with taking Boston straight up. They’re probably winning this game and look like one of the safer bets on the board tonight, but that bet offers no upside.
Three bets stand out here – the Total, the Jays as a fun underdog play and Boston’s -1.5 Run Line at -125.
The Total is interesting just because this park can be problematic for even the best pitchers. Once we start factoring in Toronto’s power and the hard contact both Sale and J.A. Happ can at times allow, this game combining for 9 runs doesn’t seem like a reach at all. Bovada and other sites are starting the bidding around -115 and there is value to be had there.
The obvious angle some will want to sweat is taking the cash with Toronto. We love the +200 line, especially since Sale has gotten knocked around lately and the Jays did just snag an upset win last night. That being said, outside of the upside, there isn’t much to get excited about here.
Toronto has not been a reliable bet on the road in 2017 (32-44 away from home) and as we mentioned earlier, they haven’t had much success against Boston (5-12 in 17 matchups). They also have not figured out Sale at all, as the Jays have faced him three times and have yet to score a single run.
That right there is . Sale has also snapped back into dominant form, as he absolutely obliterated a potent Orioles lineup in his last start (13 strikeouts, 0 earned runs).
Toronto gets a park upgrade here and they do have some bats that crush southpaws, but Sale is dialed in and he’s owned this offense. I don’t know if it’s very logical to expect that to change with Boston needing wins yet to claim the AL East crown.
On the other side is Happ (9-11, 3.64 ERA), who has been pretty stable lately and has actually fared well against the Red Sox (1-0, 2.16 ERA) in three starts. That probably keeps Toronto somewhat in play here and can cast doubt on where to go with the Total, but I just don’t see him getting the run support he’s going to need in this one.
Happ has been pretty stingy lately (1 run allowed in 4 of his last 4 starts), but Boston knows how to get on base and scorch the plates. We don’t really need to worry about their power, but they’re a top-10 offense against southpaws in terms of efficiency and they don’t strike out very much.
On the road in a tough park against an efficient offense with something to play for, backing Happ feels like a mistake.
Ultimately this is all about Sale bouncing back to elite form and Boston having a goal with the safety of their home park aiding them. You can consider the Total here and the Jays offers value, but I think the Red Sox get the win and they should be able to do enough to clear the -1.5 Run Line tonight.