A disappointing split on Friday night continues our disappointing slide underneath the break-even point. But a win can push us back over that zero and a couple wins in a row can leave it in the dust.
Boston was the team that really killed what should have been a sweep on Friday evening. The Sox offense exploded in the late innings and then its frighteningly terrible bullpen coughed up any last chance of staying under in a garbage-time ninth inning. The Sox are playing so so well right now and it’s because of the offense. Jackie Bradley Jr. looks like Mickey Mantle and has his average now well over .300 with a .631 slugging percentage. Mookie Betts has hit in 21 of his last 22, including 13 straight, and has raised his batting average 20 points in that span. Those two speedsters turning the lineup over in the 9/1 spots have the Sox lighting up Fenway Park.
But RA Dickey could be the type of guy that halts Boston’s current five-game winning streak in its tracks. The former Cy Young hasn’t lost since July 9 when his record fell to 3-10. He’s 10-10 now and looking to push it over .500 for the first time all season. He’s coming off his second complete game of the year in his last start against Cleveland and I expect his team to put up some offense for him to work with at Fenway Park.
Six starts into his Major League career, Henry Owens has put together four good outings and two really bad ones. He’s shown an ability to strike out the Major League hitter, like when he fanned 10 against Seattle, but his 1.50 WHIP and 33 hits allowed in 30 innings pitched reveals his fairly hittable stuff at this point in his career. With four of the best right-handed batters awaiting Owens right at the top of Toronto’s lineup, I sense it could be a tough one for the rook. The absolute best the Sox can realistically hope for from Owens tonight would be a competitive six innings that finishes as a quality start. And even if he does come through, it still gives the Jays some time to work on that Boston bullpen we know all too well.
Free Pick: Blue Jays (-1) -117
YTD: 22-18-4 -0.46
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02