Series Preview: Playing Spoiler

Do you like the Red Sox? Neither do I. I mean, I don’t like the Yankees either, but something about playing a role in John Farrell and the Sox coughing up their massive division lead down the stretch is appealing to me.

Monday at 7:07 ET

Drew Pomeranz has enjoyed a strong season in Boston’s rotation, owning a 3.18 ERA through 25 starts. Pomeranz has played an important role in a rotation that’s been up and down, dealing with a wide array of injuries, namely to David Price and Steven Wright.Since the beginning of July, Pomeranz has tossed a quality start in seven of 10 outings. In two games against the Jays, Pomeranz has allowed just one earned run on eight hits and seven walks over 12 1/3 innings.

Marcus Stroman has had a similarly strong season, owning a 3.17 ERA virtually identical to Pomeranz’s numbers. In two starts against the Red Sox, Stroman was lit up once and tossed a gem in the other.

Tuesday at 7:07 ET

It won’t actually be Tom Koehler starting Tuesday, it’ll be lefty Brett Anderson. I’m not sure why Koehler isn’t starting after his strong debut in Tampa Bay last week, but we could see him back in the rotation if Joe Biagini has another rough start. Regardless, the Jays now have a nine-man ‘pen, which is, uh, sure. Whatever!

Anderson won’t have a very fun return to the major leagues as he’ll have to face probable AL Cy Young winner Chris Sale in his debut with the Jays. In two starts with Buffalo, Anderson has allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks over nine-and-two-thirds innings. He has a 8.18 ERA in the big leagues over 22 innings this season, but maybe he figured something out in that week in Buffalo!

Sale is coming off of his worst start of the season in Cleveland last week. Sale made it through only three innings and was tagged for six earned runs. Amazingly, it was the first time all season that Sale didn’t clear at least five innings.

Wednesday at 7:07 ET

Judging by how their seasons have gone so far, you probably would guess that the series finale would be played by the 2016 AL Cy Young winner and one of the award’s runner-ups. But that’s exactly what’s happening Wednesday.

Rick Porcello’s season has been nothing short of a disaster after his excellent 2016 campaign. It was expected him, Sale, and Price would form an elite top-of-the-rotation, but Porcello hasn’t delivered. He owns a 4.57 ERA through 27 starts and is allowing a whopping 10.5 hits per nine innings. His peripheral numbers in 2017 virtually mirror his rocky first season with the Red Sox in 2015, suggesting last year was the anomaly.

J.A. Happ has been good-but-not-great for the Jays this season. After appearing to get on track in the middle of the season, Happ has had a couple of rough starts, allowing five runs in each of his last two outings. Overall, his 4.10 ERA isn’t as sharp as last season, but his peripheral numbers — namely a 9.0 strikeout per nine rate — suggest he’s been better than that ERA would indicate.


Somehow sweeping the Red Sox with both Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz pitching in the series seems unlikely, but it would put a massive wrench in Boston’s plans for a division crown, so let’s make it happen! They’re currently on their longest losing streak of the season and likely see the Jays as an easy win on the horizon, so it would be a great deal of fun to send them back to Boston, somehow, someway, in second in the division.