As Bobby V contemplates punching sports radio hosts in the mouth, which isn’t always a bad idea, the Boston Red Sox sink deeper into the muck that is the 2012 MLB season. What’s Boston’s motivation from here on out? Are the Sox playing for some pride, and maybe for something to carry over into next season? Or is this team tanking it, to make sure Valentine doesn’t come back next season?
The Red Sox continue playing out the string on this season when they host the Toronto Blue Jays for three games at the Fens starting Friday night.
Ugly out West
Boston lost in Seattle Wednesday 2-1 to cap off a 1-8 West Coast road trip. The Sox got swept by the Angels in Anaheim, swept by the A’s in Oakland and dropped two of three to the Mariners. For the trip Boston got outscored 63-21, and reached a real low in a 20-2 loss to the A’s last Friday.
Kind of depressing, when you think about it.
Toronto: Troubles of its Own
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are in almost the same boat as the Sox, rowing toward the end of the season. Toronto just salvaged one game of a series with the Orioles, getting shut out twice, continuing its recent slide. Back on July 28 the Jays were two games over .500 at 51-49, and contenders in the AL Wild-Card race; since then they’ve gone 10-26 to fall completely out of contention.
So heading into this series the Red Sox, at 63-75, are just a game ahead of the Blue Jays in the battle to stay out of the basement in the AL East.
The Mound Matchups
Boston will throw Felix Doubront (10-7, 5.03) Friday night against Henderson Alvarez (7-12, 5.04) for Toronto. Saturday the Sox will go with Dice-K (1-4, 6.15) vs. JA Happ (3-2, 4.46) for the Jays. And Sunday Clay Buchholz (11-5, 4.47) takes the mound for the Red Sox against Carlos Villanueva (7-5, 3.42) for Toronto.
Boston is, somewhat surprisingly, 15-9 in Doubront’s starts this season, and up $425 on the MLB odds money chart, based on $100 wagers on each game. The Sox are also 14-10 in Buchholz’ starts, but only 3-4 for Matsuzaka.
Toronto, meanwhile, is 7-5 in Villanueva’s starts, 3-3 for Happ and a disastrous 8-18 and minus $985 for Henderson.
The Season Series
Boston has lost seven of 12 games vs. the Jays this season. Most recently Toronto swept three games from the Sox at Fenway just a couple weeks ago, outscoring Boston 28-11.