The Toronto Blue Jays are shipping up to Boston for the first time in 2022 to take on their divisional rivals, the Red Sox. Let’s take a look at some numbers to get us ready for the midweek three-game series.
2021 Season Series: Boston 10, Toronto 9 (5-5 at Fenway Park)
LH Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs RH Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
Kikuchi vs Alex Verdugo
Verdugo was a Jays killer last year, so it would be nice if the lefty starter can neutralize him right out of the gate to start the season series.
Eovaldi vs Bo Bichette
It has been a bit of a rough start for Bo, even with his two hits on Sunday. A matchup with someone he’s had success against might be what it takes to kick-start a hot streak.
RH Jose Berrios (0-0, 11.81 ERA) vs RH Nick Pivetta (0-2, 9.39 ERA)
Berrios vs Xander Bogaerts
The Jays starter has owned the Red Sox shortstop, and continued success against him this week will go a long way to building on his strong start last week in the Bronx. He has overall good numbers against most of the Sox regulars.
Pivetta vs George Springer
I could have gone with Bichette again here, as he’s got some monster numbers against the Canadian. But we’ll go with Springer, who needs to do just a bit more as the table-setter for this lineup.
RH Kevin Gausman (0-1, 4.22 ERA) vs RH Tanner Houck (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Gausman vs J.D. Martinez
The Red Sox DH is always good for one big game per series against the Jays, it seems, and this could be the one. On the plus side, Gausman has dominated Trevor Story from their years in the NL West.
Houck vs Vladimir Guerrero Jr
There’s not really enough of a sample size here to glean anything meaningful, but Vladdy hit some mammoth home runs in this stadium last year. It feels like he could do some damage in the matinee finale.
News & Notes
The Jays enter the series in first place in the division at 6-4, with Boston, New York, and Tampa Bay all one game behind at 5-5.
The Red Sox enter with a relatively clean bill of health. Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. He is fully vaccinated but was placed on the Injured List. Two non-coach staff members also tested positive. Next week’s return series in Toronto will be interesting, as several members of the roster, and apparently some big names, are unvaccinated and won’t be permitted to Canada. Other Red Sox injuries include reliever Josh Taylor (back; week-to-week), starter Chris Sale (ribs; out until June), and starter James Paxton (Tommy John recovery).
The Blue Jays remain without catcher Danny Jansen (oblique), All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernandez (oblique), lefty starter Hyun-Jin Ryu (left forearm), and right-hander Nate Pearson (mono).
A three-game set at Minute Maid Park in Houston, where George Springer will play in front of his old fans for the first time since joining the Blue Jays.