The Boston Red Sox are struggling. Meetings after each of the last two losses against the Toronto Blue Jays have prompted even more media attention on Boston’s early season slump than was before. And it’s very possible that the scrutiny of an entire New England region after just 30 games could ultimately hold the Sox down long enough for them to actually lose their season.
The Red Sox know that it’s early. Way too early to panic at falling just four games under .500 with 132 left to play. But John Farrell has publicly threatened the team with roster adjustments if play doesn’t turn around soon and that starts with avoiding a sweep North of the border on Sunday. Clay Buchholz gets the ball against RA Dickey.
Just a glance at the starting pitchers makes me think that this total can’t really be high enough. And that’s rare when both starters have had the career achievements of the two going on Sunday. RA Dickey is a former Cy Young winner, while his counterpart has thrown a no-hitter and put together some tremendous stretches for his own club. But neither Dickey nor Buchholz are the pitchers they’ve been and less and less people believe they’ll ever return to the form they felt at the zenith of their careers.
Each actually pitched in the last series these teams played two weeks ago. Buchholz went first and got absolutely shelled, giving up 6 hits and 4 earned in 2.2 innings. Dickey went the next day and gave up 4 himself but did manage to complete 7 innings. You just can’t really expect either to come up with a quality start on Sunday in a game with two offenses that usually get up to mash against each other. Edwin Encarnacion finally showed signs of life yesterday and David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez are back in the lineup for Boston. It’s not as if either bullpen really scares you either. Expect both starters to give up their fair share of runs and for each offense to get into the opposing bullpen by the middle stages of this one. I don’t think a total of 9.0 can hold this one.
Free Pick: Over 9 (+100)
YTD: 2-1 +0.98
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02