Blue Jays are Slight MLB Betting Favorites Against Red Sox on Tuesday

Posted by Michael Hunt on Monday,April 17, 2017 12:50, EST in

The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays were both playoff teams from the AL East last season. The Red Sox are playing like a team that will get back to the 2017 postseason, but the Blue Jays have been horrifically bad. They open a series north of the border on Tuesday against one another. The Jays should be slight MLB betting favorites.

Boston at Toronto MLB Betting Preview & Prediction

When: Tuesday, April 18, 7:07 PM ET
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto
Probable pitchers (away/home): Brian Johnson/Marcus Stroman
TV: MLB Network
Stream: MLB.tv
RadioBoston / Toronto
Opening MLB Lines: Blue Jays favored by TBA

Why Bet On Boston?

The Sox were set to start lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, but he was placed on the paternity leave list. Rodriguez left the team after his wife gave birth to a baby boy. Now Brian Johnson is likely to be called up to pitch instead.

The 26-year- old left-hander Johnson exited his first start of the season for Triple-A Pawtucket after taking a line drive to the forehead. Johnson thankfully was OK and even was able to take his next turn in the rotation, which came Thursday. The southpaw dazzled, striking out eight and allowing just one run over 6 2/3 innings. He’s surrendered just two earned runs with 15 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings on the season. This will be his first big-league start. A comebacker also struck Johnson in the face and fractured multiple bones while he was pitching for the Lowell Spinners at Futures at Fenway Park during his first year as a professional in 2012. So that guy is unlucky.

Craig Kimbrel has converted each of his last 24 save chances since 6/4/16, the majors’ 2nd-longest active streak behind BAL’s Zach Britton (54). Kimbrel has converted each of his 21 career save opportunities at Fenway Park. He has allowed 0 runs and only 5 hits in those 21 games (21.0 IP, 4 BB, 34 SO).

The Sox should have DH Hanley Ramirez for this one. It wasn’t a sure thing that he was going to play Monday’s series finale on Patriots Day vs. the Rays as Ramirez injured his hamstring over the weekend, but he was in there. The 33-year- old is hitting .281/.361/.344 through eight games this season and is still in search of his first home run.

Outfielder Jackie Bradley (knee) could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Friday. It had looked like Bradley might return as soon as Wednesday or Thursday, but he’ll play a second rehab game Wednesday and work out Thursday first.

Why Bet On Toronto?

We are only a few weeks into the season, but the Jays’ playoff hopes already are on life support with a 2-10 record. They just lost three of four at home over the weekend to Baltimore. J.A. Happ, who was great in 2016, was pulled from his start Sunday against the Orioles after suffering an apparent injury.

Happ hopped off the mound in pain after throwing a pitch to Adam Jones in the top of the fifth. He had worked 4 1/3 innings of shutout ball with no walks and three strikeouts. Happ was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his left elbow on Monday.

“Last pitch of the fourth inning I felt kind of a pull, a tug in my elbow,” Happ said. “Then I went back out there for the fifth and it got progressively worse.”

The Jays over the weekend had to put young ace Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to March 15, with a right middle finger blister. Sanchez first started dealing with a blister in his final spring training start, and it evidently must have been bothering him on Friday when the Orioles touched him up for five runs over 5 1/3 innings. He’ll visit with a hand specialist in hopes that they’ll have an idea how to get rid of the blister for good. In addition, third baseman and former AL MVP Josh Donaldson is on the DL with a strained calf. What a disastrous start to this year. The Blue Jays have scored 34 total runs, the fewest in the majors.

“We’re all concerned,” manager John Gibbons said. “We all expected to play better.”

Marcus Stroman gets the call here. Stroman (1-1, 1.76) deserved a better fate April 12 against the Brewers, taking the loss despite pitching a complete game and allowing just two runs. Consstently spotting his sinker helped Stroman to force 15 ground ball outs. He is 1-4 in seven career starts against the Red Sox.

Boston at Toronto MLB Betting Pick: Toronto Blue Jays

I wouldn’t recommend that Jays too often the way they are playing, but Boston’s Johnson likely will have butterflies in his first MLB start and Stroman has been very good.