MLB Baseball: Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays Prediction, Odds and Preview - 07/20/2021

by Al McMordie

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021
Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays Prediction, Odds and Preview - 07/20/2021

Game Time: 7:07 pm ET, Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Venue:  Sahlen Field, Buffalo, New York

Where to Watch:  Sportsnet

Season-to-Date Record:
Boston Red Sox:  56-38 (1st, American League East)
Toronto Blue Jays:  48-42 (3rd, American League East)

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks:
DraftKings:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -155; Over/Under:  10.5 runs
Bet365:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -145; Over/Under 10.5 runs
BetRivers:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -150; Over/Under 10.5 runs

Key Injuries:
Boston:  Danny Santana (quad) Probable; Marwin Gonzalez (hamstring) Out; Christian Arroyo (hamstring) Out
Toronto:  Corey Dickerson (foot) Out

Recent Lineups:

Boston Red Sox:
Hernandez (2B)
Verdugo (LF)
Martinez (DH)
Bogaerts (SS)
Devers (3B)
Renfroe (RF)
Duran (CF)
Vazquez (C)
Arroyo (1B)

Toronto Blue Jays:
Semien (2B)
Bichette (SS)
Guerrero, Jr. (1B)
Springer (CF)
Hernandez (LF)
Grichuk (RF)
Biggio (3B)
Gurriel, Jr. (DH)
McGuire (C)

Statistical Leaders:

Boston Red Sox:
Batting Average:  Bogaerts (.321)
Hits:  Bogaerts (105)
Home Runs:  Devers (22)
RBI:  Devers (74)
Stolen Bases:  Vazquez (8)
Wins:  Eovaldi (9)
Saves:  Barnes (19)
ERA:  Whitlock (1.38)

Toronto Blue Jays:
Batting Average:  Guerrero, Jr. (.332)
Hits:  Guerrero, Jr. (108)
Home Runs:  Guerrero, Jr. (31)
RBI:  Guerrero, Jr. (78)
Stolen Bases:  Bichette (12)
Wins:  Ryu (9)
Saves:  Romano (7)
ERA:  Romano (1.93)


Boston Red Sox:  Alex Cora (3rd season)
Toronto Blue Jays:  Charlie Montoyo (3rd season)

Recent Form:

The Boston Red Sox lost two of three games last weekend at the New York Yankees, and have dropped six of eight, overall.  Still, Boston is 56-38 (+12.7 games on the moneyline) on the MLB season, and sits in first place in the AL East standings, with a half-game lead over the defending AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays.  If you've been betting on Boston this season, you've made a lot of money, especially given that the Red Sox odds to win the AL East coming into the season were long!  The Red Sox have a balanced home and away record this season, as they are 28-19 at Fenway Park, and also 28-19 on the road.  In the Red Sox’s 9-1 loss to the Yankees on Sunday, starter Martin Perez lasted just 4 innings, as he gave up 3 runs and 5 hits, including a home run to Gleyber Torres.  The Yankees’ starter, Jameson Taillon, went 5 1/3 innings to earn the win, and gave up just 4 hits.  For the game, Boston managed just five hits, and left 9 men on base.

The Toronto Blue Jays swept the 3-game series vs. the Texas Rangers over the weekend, and extended their win streak to 4 games with a 10-0 shutout win on Sunday.  Steven Matz threw 5 scoreless innings, while the Blue Jays belted out 8 hits, including Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.’s 11th home run in the 1st inning, and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.’s 31st round tripper in the 2nd.  The Blue Jays have won 15 of their last 22 games, and are 48-42 (+0.1 games on the moneyline) on the season.  Toronto is currently in 3rd place in the AL East, ahead of the Yankees by 1 game, and the Baltimore Orioles by 19 games.

The Red Sox have played 6 unders and 3 overs (with 1 push) over their last 10 games.  And the Red Sox’s Over/Under record is 43-48-3 this season.

The Blue Jays have played 4 of their last 6 games under the total, and their Over/Under record this season is 43-46-1.

The two teams opened the series last night in a clash which pitted Boston's Nick Pivetta vs. Toronto's Ross Stripling.  The Blue Jays odds were -124 in that game, with a total of 10.5, and Boston won that affair in a blowout to snap their losing streak, and Toronto's winning streak.  After tonight's game, the AL East rivals will meet on Wednesday night to conclude this 3-game series.

Series History:

The Red Sox and Blue Jays have met 9 times since April, with Boston winning 5 of the 9 games (and 5 of the 9 going under the total).  Over the last 3 seasons, Boston is 21-17 vs the Blue Jays (including 10-6 at Toronto), and the Over/Under record is 20-17-1 (including 9-6-1 at Toronto).  

Statistical Comparison:

The Red Sox’s strength is on the offensive side, as they rank 5th in Major League Baseball with 5.0 runs per game; 4th in Batting Average (.257) -- with Xander Bogaerts leading the way at .321 -- and 11th in On Base Percentage (.321).  Boston’s pitching ranks 14th with an ERA of 4.11.  

Similarly, the Blue Jays have one of the best slugging offenses in MLB.  Toronto is scoring 5.21 runs per game (3rd), while hitting .265 (2nd) and having an On Base Percentage of .328 (7th).  Like Boston, Toronto’s pitching is middle-of-the-pack, with a 3.89 ERA (12th).

Red Sox vs Blue Jays Game Preview:

The Red Sox will hand the ball to veteran RHP Garrett Richards on Tuesday.  Richards is 5-5 on the season, and comes into Tuesday's game off a win on July 9 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Red Sox won that game, 11-5, behind a 5-inning, 7-hit outing from Richards.  Richards has done his best work on the road this season, where he has a 3-2 record, with a 1.48 WHIP, which compares favorably to his overall marks of 4.91 and 1.68.  This will be the fourth time Richards has faced the Blue Jays in 2021, as he's 1-1 in those three prior games, and has given up 10 earned runs, 22 hits and 12 walks in 16 2/3 innings.  For his career, Richards' ERA vs. Toronto is 5.23, while his WHIP is a poor 1.76.

Toronto will start rookie RHP Alek Manoah on Tuesday night here at Sahlen Field, in Buffalo (the Blue Jays' home games have been split between Buffalo and Dunedin thus far).  Manoah will be making his second career start vs. Boston.  In his first appearance vs the Red Sox, on June 14, he pitched very well, and gave up just one run, four hits and one walk over six innings.  The Red Sox won the game the last time he pitched against them, 2-1, so Manoah would like to avenge that defeat tonight.  After the Blue Jays won his first three career starts, they've alternated wins and losses since, including a 7-1 defeat at Tampa Bay on July 9.  Still, his numbers are impressive for a rookie, as he has a 2.90 ERA over eight starts, with a terrific 1.06 WHIP.  And he's also done his best work at home (2.20 ERA; 1.04 WHIP).

Notable quotes:

Alex Cora (after Sunday's 9-1 loss to the Yankees):  We haven't hit.  We've been chasing pitches.

Charlie Montoya (after Sunday's 10-0 victory vs. Texas):  The only way you can get winning streaks is if your starters give you a chance....It's all about pitching and the starters were outstanding.


The Red Sox are 21-11 (+15.3 games on the moneyline) as an underdog this season.
The Red Sox are 14-5 in Garrett Richards' nighttime starts the past two years.
The Red Sox are 22-12 (+9 games on the moneyline) vs. AL East division rivals this year.

The Blue Jays are 88-109 (minus 16.6 games on the moneyline) at night.
The Blue Jays are 66-51 (minus 7.1 games on the moneyline) as a favorite.
The Blue Jays are 37-27 (+8 games on the moneyline) vs. right-handed starters.

Blue Jays Red Sox Prediction:  Our MLB Pick for Tuesday's game is Tor 6 Bos 3

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