Records Entering Series: BOS (26-11, T-1st in AL East), TOR (20-18, 3rd in AL East)
Boston rolls into Toronto for the 2nd time this year with a share of 1st place and the best record in the MLB. They’ve fizzled a bit of late after their 17-2 start, but remain one of the teams to beat in the AL.
Toronto, on the other hand, is sort of stuck where they usually are, battling their hearts out against the Boston and New York juggernauts to stay in the race for the playoffs.
Boston will be looking to take at least 2 out of 3 here before returning home.
Hitters to Watch
BOS: Mitch Moreland – Not even so much for the stats, although his numbers have been ridiculous this year, but more so to see how many games he’ll play. JBJ has been on the bench for the last 2 games, opening up 1st base for Moreland. Will this continue, or will Bradley regain his starter status in center field, forcing Moreland to the bench?
TOR: Josh Donaldson – Donaldson has missed almost half of the season with an injury, but he’s still hit 5 HR in only 20 games played. He’s the biggest power threat in the Blue Jays’ lineup, and the Red Sox were lucky enough to not have to face him last month. The Boston pitchers will be wary of him.
Pitchers to Watch
BOS: David Price – Does this sound familiar? David Price was scratched from his last start due to an issue in his throwing hand. He’s scheduled to start Saturday, and it will be a big game in terms of gauging his ability to perform long term.
TOR: Marcus Stroman – Stroman carries a respectable 3.87 career ERA, but so far this season he’s posted a 7.71 ERA to go along with a 1.71 WHIP and an 0-5 record. If Toronto stands a chance of nabbing a wild card spot, they’ll need him to step up and produce at a rate that they’re used to seeing from him. He’ll take the bump in game 3.
Matchup to Watch: Aaron Sanchez vs. the Boston hitters.
Sanchez may be carry a 4.14 ERA in 2018, but he absolutely dominated the Red Sox back on April 25, pitching 6 innings of 3 hit ball while K-ing 8. Only Betts, Martinez and Holt recorded hits against the righty, and Sanchez will be hoping for the same caliber performance this time out.