Series Preview: It doesn’t get any easier with Boston

This Blue Jays team has performed the way most people would have predicted before the start of this season. Coming into this season, not many people thought this offense would produce much until Vladimir Guerrero Jr. arrived, and they were right. The Blue Jays’ offense has been one of the worst in the entire MLB. While we didn’t expect much from this offense, we at least thought it would be better than it is currently.

The Blue Jays currently rank 25th in hits, 27th in BA, OPS and runs. However, the stat that displays exactly why this offense is struggling is strikeouts, they currently rank first in strikeouts. Ironically enough, the Blue Jays lead the league in strikeouts on both sides of the plate. Their pitching staff ranks first in the league with 119 strikeouts. While the Red Sox sit ninth in the league with 89 strikeouts. Which means Blue Jays fans should prepare themselves for a lot more swing and misses this series.

Tuesday at 2:05 ET

The Shoemaker has been scoreless through two games this season, and will get the ball in the opener of this series. In 14 innings, Matt Shoemaker has yet to surrender any runs in either of his appearances. He has given up just four hits and three walks, while whiffing 15 batters. The Red Sox’s offense has only averaged 4.2 runs/game to start this season, but they’re still one of the best-offenses in the league. So this won’t likely be an easy game for Shoemaker.

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Chris Sale will be taking the mound for the Red Sox in their home-opener. Sale hasn’t been the same all-star caliber pitcher that we’ve seen in previous seasons. While it’s only been two starts, he just hasn’t looked like himself out on the mound. He recorded his lowest average velocity (89.3-mph) in his entire career, last time out against the Athletics. The biggest drop-off has come with his ability to create strikeouts. Sale recorded a SO/9 of 13.5 last season, and has had that drop to a SO/9 of 5 this season. But that could all change with a start against the Blue Jays.

Thursday at 7:10 ET

Cross your fingers that Aaron Sanchez can keep his fingers away from any suitcases or blisters, because he’s pitching like he did during the 2016 season. He is pitching with a 1.64 ERA and a 1.182 WHIP, along with eleven punch-outs in eleven innings pitched. The most encouraging sign from him is his usage of his curveball, and being able to locate it. This is important for Sanchez because he was afraid to use that pitch last season, because of his fear that it would create more blisters. To be successful, he will need to be able locate all his pitches going up against this Red Sox lineup in game two.

Nathan Eovaldi was a big part in helping the Red Sox win the World Series last season. But, he hasn’t done much to help them in two starts this season. Eovaldi has surrendered nine runs on twelve hits in ten innings pitched to start this season. He has been no where near the pitcher who deserves a four-year $68 million contract that he signed this off-season. But just like with Sale, an outing against the struggling Blue Jays could turn everything around.