The Toronto Blue Jays were the hottest team in the majors before getting derailed in Tampa Bay but they have a chance to get back on track on the road against another American League East rival. They’ll visit Boston for a four-game set over the weekend.
The Jays dug themselves a huge hole to start the season, so if they hope to get back in the mix on the betting lines, they need to get at least a split or three of four this weekend.
Chien-Ming Wang (1-0, 2.18) vs. Jon Lester (7-4, 4.57) – Thursday, 7:10 PM ET
Odds: Red Sox -160
Wang hasn’t given up an earned run in his last two starts, but he has plenty of experience against Boston, going 6-6 in 15 outings (14 starts) and a 4.98 ERA. He is also 3-4 in eight starts at Fenway Park with a 5.40 ERA. Lester has allowed 17 earned runs in his last three starts, but he is 2-0 in three starts against Toronto in 2013, and he is now 13-7 in 25 starts against the Blue Jays with an ERA of 3.61. The southpaw is 2-0 in five home starts this season. The Red Sox are heavily favored on the MLB odds for the Thursday matchup.
Josh Johnson (1-2, 4.60) vs. Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.33) – Friday, 7:10 PM ET
Johnson has seen the Red Sox just three times in his career, posting a 1-0 mark and a 3.15 ERA, and this will be his first trip to Fenway. He has struggled on the road this season, losing both of his starts away from Toronto and Johnson has racked up a 7.56 ERA during that time. Doubront has three straight no-decisions under his belt, and he has one in his lone start against Toronto, taking his career record to 2-2 in 10 games (five starts) with a 5.40 ERA; this includes a save and a blown save against the Jays.
Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.46) vs. Allen Webster (0-2, 11.50) – Saturday, 1:35 PM ET
Rogers gave up three consecutive homers in Tampa Bay in his last start, and he was hammered in his lone start against Boston, against whom he is now 0-1 in five appearances (no starts) with an ERA of 13.50. Webster has also been roughed up in his first three starts in the majors, and this will be his first time facing the Blue Jays. In two starts at home, Webster is 0-1 with an 11.74 ERA.
Mark Buerhle (4-5, 4.73) vs. Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.15) -= Sunday, 1:35 PM ET
Buerhle lost his last start against the Rays, but he has a knack of minimizing damage in poor innings, which is the mark of a veteran pitcher. He has lost one of his two starts against the Red Sox in 2013 and he is 6-9 in 21 games (20 starts) with a 4.57 ERA, which includes a 3-3 mark in eight starts in Boston. Dempster has allowed three runs or less in each of his last six starts, and he has split a pair of starts against Toronto this season. Dempster is now 1-1 in five outings (four
starts) against the Blue Jays in his career, posting a 5.47 ERA.