The Toronto Blue Jays are hoping to build off yesterday’s series win (their first series win since the start of the month) over the Texas Rangers by hosting the American League East worst Boston Red Sox for four games.
Based on how the season has unfolded so far for both clubs, this would normally be considered a great matchup for the Jays. Toronto has spent the majority of the season in either first or second place for the division while Boston has struggled to escape last place all season. The reigning World Series champions hardly look like the team that dominated baseball last year and it’s almost a certainty at this point they’ll miss the playoffs one year after winning it all.
This scenario, however, is based on the season as a whole. If you look at how the two teams have been playing over the past few weeks, a different story emerges. The Blue Jays are 6-9 in July, having gone 4-6 in their last ten games. Boston, on the other hand, posts a moderately better July record of 8-8 with seven wins in their last 10 games.
In terms of momentum, the Red Sox might have a slight advantage here. They’re coming off a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals while the Jays barely pulled off the series win over the Rangers. It wasn’t pretty or easy, but they got two out of three wins, right?
Having said all this, there is some good news for the Jays. They’ll avoid Jon Lester (10-7), who pitched yesterday. That leaves them with John Lackey (10-6), Jake Peavy (1-8), Clay Buchholz (5-5) and Rubby De La Rosa (3-2) – a group of beatable and largely under performing pitchers – to face. Drew Hutchison (6-8), J.A. Happ (7-5), R.A. Dickey (7-10) and Marcus Stroman (5-2) – a group of pitchers who hardly inspires confidence either – will counter for Toronto.
In the recent past, the John Farrell storyline dominated the Toronto-Boston rivalry, but now we’ll be holding our collective breath to see if the Jays can keep pace or even pick up ground against the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees. The Red Sox, beyond presenting a temporary challenge to this goal, have been turned into a complete afterthought.
I like that.
Tags: Toronto Blue Jays