There’s that old saying, “when it rains, it pours.” Generally, I tend to believe that, like most sayings, only applies because people apply it to situations when it’s applicable. There are plenty of times it rains and passes over lightly – like how we’ve been handling losing streaks all year. But this one has been a little different.
A day after suffering a pretty brutal walk-off loser off the bat of Nolan Arenado when he was down to his final strike, we lose another heartbreaker. This time, Detroit blows a big early lead, a lead in the 9th and a lead in extra innings to extend the rough losing streak. And it’s officially pouring. That doesn’t mean we’re going to stop firing. And I’m going to look to Fenway Park for a winner in a game between the streaking Toronto Blue Jays and the lowly Boston Red Sox.
The defending champs haven’t had it easy all year. And after a season where just about everything went right, it’s not incredibly surprising that things haven’t gone as smoothly the second time around for John Farrell and his bunch. The Sox have lost six in a row and have dipped to four games below .500. They’ve taken two on the chin to Toronto this week and have one last chance to salvage a win to avoid being swept at home in back-to-back series for the first time in who knows how long (probably 2012).
The good news for Boston is that it’s Jon Lester’s turn to pitch and these are the spots where the ace shines. In a season where John Lackey has been so-so and Clay Buchholz has been an absolute disaster, Lester has excelled, despite his 4-5 record. The 30-year-old has a 2.67 ERA with a WHIP of just 1.10 and had been his usual self in going his 6 inning and giving his club a chance to win. Lester comes off just a 5 inning outing in his last start, however, and should have plenty of motivation to bear down and pitch like it’s the playoffs on Thursday.
He’ll go up against Mark Buehrle, who has had a tremendous start to the season. But it’s not as if Buehrle has developed something that he hasn’t had his entire career. He’s simply been on a nice run that will have to revert back closer to what’s been “normal” for him in his career. Boston has seen the southpaw enough times to think that this desperate spot could be the start to that mini regression.
With the season beginning to get away from them (even in May) and the Blue Jays playing extremely well, I think we’re getting a value play here with Lester in Fenway. Don’t be surprised if this one has some runs scored (there’s a reason the total is all the way at 8.5). But I’ll happily back Boston in this spot. Let’s battle through the storm!
Free Pick: Boston (-128)
2014 YTD: 17-9 +6.09
Boston Red Sox • toronto blue jays