Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
Dates: Monday, July 17 – Thursday, July 20, 2017
Location: Fenway Park
The Blue Jays just dropped two of three in Comerica against the Detroit Tigers. In doing so, John Gibbon’s squad saw its two-series win streak get snapped. In the process, the team fell nine games out in the AL East and has the look of a surefire seller come the deadline.
In earning a split with the Yankees over the weekend, the Red Sox once again find themselves atop the AL East three games ahead of the charging Tampa Bay Rays. Each of the teams next four series will be played against .500 or losing teams. A great opportunity to extend that lead sits in front of them.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Monday, July 17, 2017, 7 p.m. ET ( ESPN )
Marcus Stroman vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Stroman closed out his first half with a solid effort at home against Houston whom he limited to just six hits and 1 ER through seven innings to log his ninth win of the season. The quality effort bumped his quality start percentage up to 66.7 overall, and he’ll be out to snap a two game losing streak to the Red Sox when he throws at them for the second time in 2017. The first go round saw him get crushed for 11 hits and 6 ER through 4.2 innings.
E-Rod will be making his long awaited return to the starting rotation after missing the last month and a half due to a right knee subluxation. He struggled in most of his starts for Pawtucket in his road back to recovery, but just put forth a solid 6.1 inning effort in his final start. He’ll make his eleventh start looking to build upon the 4-2 record and 3.54 ERA he tallied in leading Boston to wins six times.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
J.A Happ vs. Doug Fister
The veteran left-hander saw his string of five straight quality starts go by the boards in his final start heading into the All-Star break at home against Houston. The Astros lit him up for seven hits ( 3 HR ) and six runs ( 2 ER ) to get him lifted before the fifth inning. Before that, he had logged at least six innings in his previous five starts. This will be his first start against Boston in 2017. Last year, he went 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA and .176 BAA through three starts.
With Doug Fister logging 2.2 innings of relief in Saturday’s 16-inning loss to the Yankees, his spot in the rotation will get skipped. In his stead, Triple-A arms Brian Johnson or Hector Velazquez will get the call. Each has provided John Farrell with decent showings when called upon earlier this season for spot duty, but they’ve also been lit up. Tread lightly regardless of who gets the starting nod.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers - Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Aaron Sanchez vs. Drew Pomeranz
Sanchez finally looked a little more like the stud that dominated last season in his start against the Tigers in Motown. Off getting ripped for 2 HR and seven hits through 1.2 innings in his final start of the first half, the outing came as a huge relief. He held Detroit to just one unearned run through six innings and racked up 4 Ks. He’s been his best on the road ( 1.89 ERA ), and stands 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox.
Pomeranz has really settled into his role as the No. 2 starter behind staff ace Chris Sale. The lefty tossed quality efforts in four of his last five outings before conceding six hits and 4 ER in a no-decision against the Yankees. Boston still went on to win the game and stands a money-making 12-6 in his 18 made starts. Drew beat the Blue Jays on July 2 in Toronto by tossing six innings of 1 ER ball to even up his all-time record against them to 1-1 through three starts.
Game 4 Probable Pitchers - Thursday, July 21, 2017, 1:35 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Francisco Liriano vs. Chris Sale
It remains to be seen if Liriano will actually toe the bump for this one after leaving his first start post All-Star break with a stiff neck. Should he go, the lefty will be out to improve a poor 1-3 record and 8.33 ERA in his seven made starts away from the Rogers Centre. Toronto actually went on to win three of those outings with the over cashing five times. Should he not be able to go, Joe Biagini will likely make the spot start out of the pen.
Sale picked right back up where he left off in his first start of the second half against the Yankees whom he held scoreless through 7.2 innings. The southpaw has registered 10-plus Ks in each of his last three starts, but Boston went on to lose two of those outings. He’ll toe the Fenway Park bump for the tenth time looking to improve upon his 6-1 record and 2.07 ERA against a Blue Jays squad he’s already beaten twice this season limiting them to just eight hits and no runs through 15 dominant innings.