The Boston Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays in Fenway Park for already their second regular season series.
This four-game series will have the Blue Jays looking for revenge, as the Red Sox took Toronto’s home opener and won their first series two games to one. Now, both teams are .500, tied for second with the New York Yankees in the American League East standings, and they are looking to advance their position in this first month of the regular season.
Also, today marks Jackie Robinson Day, when all MLB teams will have every player wear the number 42 in honor of the man recognized as the one who broke the color barrier in baseball. The Red Sox will also have a pregame ceremony to celebrate the occasion.
- Last week, Porcello looked dreadful early against the Blue Jays by allowing four earned runs, two of them home runs to Toronto’s face of the franchise Jose Bautista. However, Porcello was able to last six innings with his straight-looking slider and actually picked up the win, because Dickey fell apart in the later innings to the Red Sox bats.
- Ian Browne of MLB.com makes note that “Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has swung the bat well against Dickey in his career, hitting .367 (11-for-30) with four doubles, a homer and seven RBIs.”
- Utility-player-turned-starter Brock Holt has the second most RBIs on the Red Sox, driving home eight runs and, essentially, driving Rusney Castillo to the minors to find his bat.
- Price will look to bounce back from a disappointing first start in Fenway Park, allowing five earned runs in five innings. Considering that he was brought in to be the ace, Price needs a good start to show the fans why the Red Sox paid him so much money as a free agent to pull him away from Toronto, where he made many good friends.
Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson (3B)
- 2016 (10 games): .325/.372/.775, 5 HR, 12 RBI
- Career vs Red Sox (37 games): .315/.393/.566, 9 HR, 30 RBI
- Career @ Fenway Park (15 games): .370/.478/.574, 2 HR, 8 RBI
- Donaldson is the only one seeing pitches like giant beach balls for the Blue Jays. Expected to be the most potent lineup in the majors, Toronto is only ranked 21st in batting average (.224) and 12th in RBIs (39). Out of the 11 home runs that the Blue Jays have, almost half of them have come from Donaldson. The ‘Bringer of Rain’ does not look like he will be slowing down any time soon, so the Red Sox will need to limit who is on base for Donaldson to knock home.
Red Sox: David Ortiz (DH)
- 2016 (5 games): .429/.455/.905, 3 HR, 4 RBI
- Career vs Toronto (237 games): .276/.370/.553, 59 HR, 181 RBI
- Career @ Fenway Park (939 games): .308/.405/.580, 203 HR, 773 RBI
- In the last seven days, nobody on the Red Sox team has been hotter than Ortiz at the plate, hitting .316 with a homer and six RBIs. However, that may be due to Bogaerts setting the table for him, hitting .360.