FINN EARLY PITCH PRIVATE PLAY (14-2)
Game: (959) Boston Red Sox at (960) Toronto Blue Jays
Date/Time: May 20 2019 1:07 PM EDT
Betting Line Provider: William Hill
Play Rating: 4%
Play: Boston Red Sox -1.5 (-135)
LIST PITCHERS: Price and Jackson
The Sox have flushed their first month of the 2019 season, a period in which they struggled to register wins, that included a long and grueling road trip across the country and back. A season opening trek that begin seemingly days after the season, a championship season, had just concluded.
And while no single individual has asked my opinion on this State of the Red Sox Nation I am giving it, typing it, regardless. As a numbers junkie, one that buries my head in underlying peripherals each and every morning, the best of the Red Sox will become evident before the mid-season classic in July.
Boston is a quality starter and a right-handed reliever that brings the heat from being the best MLB club on the planet. The same could be said about the Houston Astros, the two best teams, top to bottom, in all of MLB.
Tonight the Red Sox return one of the key pieces to their 2019 success, this being lefty David Price. If Price can remain healthy and be the two of a one-two punch, that includes Chris Sale, and add the final pieces before the trade deadline, the Sox are a team that can defend their 2018 title and repeat such this October.
The first glaring group of numbers that stand out when examining the current state of the Red Sox nation, glaring being and meaning, the lack of quality innings from the bullpen. The team appears to have positioned right-hander Marcus Walden as the go-to when in need of long relief, or as a setup arm for situations and he is capable of keeping the relief staff from being a mixed bag of responsibilities moving forward.
Price returns from IL today for a start north of the border in Toronto. His first official outing since May 2. first start since May 2. The coaching staff considered activating Price for a spot this weekend in their series against the Houston Astros. Rather than throw Price to an offense that lead the league in home runs and hard contact the powers-that-are made a long-term decision to pit Price against the light hitting Blue Jays... and if for no other reason because of his success at the old Sky Dome. Price is 12-1 with a 3.31 ERA over 17 career starts at Rogers Centre.
Price's last start before hitting the IL was a took a no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits, two walks while punching out 10 Tampa Bay Rays. Price hadn't been just good before being placed on the IL he had been closer to dominant with a 30:5 K/BB ratio in 25 innings of work.
Price was on a run of solid starts. four consecutive quality outings, that ended in the first week of May with elbow pain. The former Cy Young Award winner surrendered three runs on seven hits in six innings at the Chicago White Sox in that May 2 before being put in a rehab assignment. Price made four starts against Toronto last season... winning all four... with a 2.63 ERA across 24 innings that included 25 K's.
And last year's Toronto lineup was much more dangerous than this year’s Jays -- who are in full fledge rebuild mode.
Toronto didn't reach out to their farm affiliates when they needed to add an arm to their rotation. Instead they called Vegas and made a deal for RHP Edwin Jackson who was contracted by Oakland.
If there is one MLB lineup that is capable of being no-no'd on any given night and against any given arm that is capable of tossing said gem it is the Blue Jays. The Toronto offense is slashing an itsy-bitsy .230 batting average -- and an even more ridiculous .286 on base percentage - followed by a SLG percentage that isn't even good enough to win a batting title.. that being a.328 slugging percentage.
In nearly 400 at-bats against southpaws this season the aforementioned slash line (.230/.286/.328) is easily the worst among American League teams. Save the Miami Marlins the Jays numbers as a whole, especially versus lefties, are near or at the bottom of important offensive categories in the team's first 40-plus games. And note that in those 400 official at-bats versus LHP the Blue Jays have just 22 doubles, two triples and get this... a timid four home runs.
Boston offense has improved in nearly every important container the last two to three weeks. There isn't a more patient lineup in all of baseball than Boston. The order puts the bat on the ball and don't chase pitches outside of the strike zone. The Sox have struck out a total of 266 times against right-handed pitching this season, a middling number considering the large number of at bats versus righties... And there isn't another team in Major League Baseball that draws walks (150) like the Blood Sox do...
Veteran Edwin Jackson isn't ready, set and go for afternoon batting practice under the roof in Toronto. Jackson joined the Blue Jays last week and has now pitched for his MLB-record 14th team this past Wednesday. Jackson made his Blue Jays’ debut surrendering 2 ER in 5 innings of work against a light-hitting San Fran Giants lineup. The right-handed Jackson allowed 6 hits and a walk while striking out just two in those five-plus innings.
Jackson returned to the league for another season after having success a year ago... that was in truth... a mirage... an illusion. Jackson closed his season with the A's and working innings with a 3.33 ERA in 17 starts.
The bare ass naked truth is that his 3.33 ERA isn't compatible with an FIP that is nearly two runs higher. Furthermore Jackson is uber-dependent on batted ball luck. His 6.65 K/9 combined with a clumsy 3.62 BB/9, and 4.88 xFIP is a poor match for an offense that puts the ball in play or walks more than any team in either league.
so the low ERA doesn’t look very repeatable. None of the peripherals are too surprising though as they closely match his career rates, and his xFIP has been hovering around 5.00 in recent years. So there’s no reason to add Jackson to your fantasy squad, unless your league is doing something where every team has to own Jackson for a little bit, in which case you should totally do it.
The 35-year-old Jackson will be fortunate to punch out a pair of Red Sox before being replaced by a Jays long reliever.
Going all-in by supporting a savvy veteran that has dominated a lineup that will be front and center at the Rogers Centre Monday afternoon. As mentioned in this game day write-up Price's M.O., his arsenal and his ball flight tendencies are a plus-fit to old Skye Dome.
BOSTON RED SOX -1.5 runs
Portland / Golden State over 219.5
Golden State -3.5
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