Written By: David Duhaim
Boston will be throwing out Eduardo Rodriguez which will be his first start since returning from the DL, and he will be opposing righty Marcus Stroman.
Boston opened up as -130 money line favorites, but have since dropped to +100 dogs, where 59% of the public is backing Toronto.
Boston has gone 15-7 in their last 22 home games, while Toronto has gone 1-5 in their last six against Boston.
Before being placed on the DL, Rodriguez was having a solid season with a 9.59 K/9 and a 3.10 BB/9 to go with a .267 BABIP and a 4.06 FIP. Well his two starts in Triple AAA have been efficient posting a 2.78 FIP, which should have him feeling confident coming into this outing especially at home where he owns a 1.56 ERA while opponents are slashing .222/.319/.365 against him.
Rodriguez relies more on inducing fly balls to go with his strikeouts, and that should come in handy against a Toronto lineup that hits more fly balls than ground balls. He is also having success against righties at home where they are slashing .203/.276/.406, and most of Toronto's impact players are righties.
Toronto is enjoying Stroman's solid start to July with a 2.25 ERA, but now he faces a familiar foe that knocked him around for 11 hits and six earned runs. Boston matches up well with Stroman who is a ground ball pitcher inducing ground balls at a 60% rate. Boston ranks eighth in ground balls hit.
Stroman hasn't been as good on the road owning a 4.14 ERA to go with a slash line of .276/.344/.431. Righties have been even more unforgiving as they are slashing .310/.355/.570 against him. Boston can stack their lineup with righties.
Boston is slumping right now slashing .195/.273/.260 in their last four games, but Toronto hasn't been that much better .198/.320/.341 in their last three games. Boston has faced tougher pitchers. This game should come down to pitchers and I give the edge to Rodriguez even though he is coming off the DL because of his promising starts in Triple AAA. He will also have unfamiliarity backing him, unlike Stroman who will make his second start against Boston this year.
Stroman has put in three solid starts in a row, two of those starts were against a lethal New York and Houston lineup and held them to three runs total. That takes a lot of focus and energy to stymie lineups like that, which puts Stroman in a bad spot on the road against a Boston lineup that roughed him up earlier this year. Toronto has gone 7-15 against lefties this year. Back Boston at home.
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