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Photo Credit: coreman1017

Series Preview: From one pair of Sox to another

The Blue Jays are coming home off of their split of the four-game series against the White Sox. Not only did the Blue Jays have to visit the scary side of Chicago, but they also had to play through horrendous weather conditions as well. Thankfully, they get to come home to a place that has a dome that only occasionally leaks.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has also started to heat up and was responsible for the Blue Jays scoring a combined 16 runs over their last three games. This offense has struggled to drive-in runs or even just hit the ball over the fence, as they currently rank last in the AL in home runs so far this month. The Blue Jays will need to find a way to create runs during this four-game series. As these Red Sox are coming into “The Six” with their hitting shoes on.

Monday at 1:07 ET

Edwin Jackson will make his second-start of the season in the opener of this series. The German-native pitched exactly the way the Blue Jays needed him to against the Giants last time out. Jackson went five innings and surrendered six hits, three runs(two earned) and a lone walk. The long-time journey man was also able to record a pair of strikeouts in his history making start as well.

However, this upcoming start against the Red Sox will be a even bigger challenge for Jackson, given the way the defending champions are hitting the ball this month. So far this month, the Red Sox have recorded the 3rd-most amount of runs, hits and RBI in the AL. Their team also currently ranks 1st in OBP and 3rd in OPS in the AL during this month as well. Which means Jackson could be in for a very short outing if he can’t find a way to slow down their surging offense.

Former-Blue Jay David Price will be activated from the 10-day IL to make this start against his former team. Price was placed on the IL back on May 6 with elbow tendinitis, and hasn’t pitched in a game since May 2 against the White Sox. Before getting injured, Price was performing as the Red Sox best-pitcher in their rotation.

The price was certainly right for the 33-year-old through six starts this season. Price currently owns a 1-2 record along with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.139 WHIP. What’s been most-impressive about Price so far this season, is the fact that he’s held opponents to just three runs or less over his last four starts, and he’s also recorded seven or more strikeouts in four of his six starts this season.

Tuesday at 7:07 ET

Stro-Show had another good outing in his last start, but was again unable to receive a win through his four starts this month. Stroman is likely getting pretty frustrated over not receiving much run-support so far this season. The 28-year-old currently receives the fewest-amount of support from an offense of any starting pitcher throughout the entire AL this season.

Stroman is currently receiving an average of just 2.2 runs/game this season. While he hasn’t been the best-pitcher in the league this season, Stroman would certainly have a better record than 1-6 if his offense was able to produce more runs for him. The Blue Jays have scored the fewest-amount of runs throughout the AL so far this month. So this will likely be another game were Stroman will have to pitch almost perfectly just to get even close to receiving his second win of the season.

Eduardo Rodriguez will be taking the mound in game two of this series for the Red Sox. Stroman is likely extremely jealous with the amount of support Rodriguez has received so far this season. E-Rod is currently getting an average of 8.8 runs/game, which is more than four-times the amount of run support that Stroman is currently receiving.

Similar to Price, Rodriguez has been a master at striking out batters this season. The left-hander is currently ranked 10th among pitchers in the AL for SO/9. Last time out against the Rockies, Rodriguez created ten strikeouts through six innings of work. Which could be the same story against the Blue Jays in this start, if their lineup is unable to be more discipline at the plate.

Wednesday at 7:07 ET

Normally I wouldn’t hesitate to write that the sky is falling because of another finger injury involving Aaron Sanchez. But it seems that times are changing with the way Sanchez handles blisters on his fingers. This was the second-time this season that Sanchez was forced to leave a game early due to a blister. However, the 26-year-old is showing signs of maturity in knowing when to not play through an injury.

The poor weather conditions were the cause in both cases where Sanchez developed blisters on his pitching hand. But he hasn’t had to miss anytime because he hasn’t pitched through either of those blisters. Thankfully for the Blue Jays, that will allow him to make this start in game three of this series against the Red Sox.

This was suppose to be Hector Velazquez’s turn in the rotation, but the Red Sox will go with a different option following Velazquez’s terrible performance last time out against the Astros. Josh A. Smith is currently the only pitcher currently on their active roster that could start for the Red Sox.

Smith has made one start so far this season, but he was used just as a multiple-innings opener. So the Red Sox will likely call a pitcher up to make this start, or they could in-fact give Velazquez one more opportunity before they decide to potentially DFA him.

Thursday at 12:37 ET

Ryan Feierabend hasn’t been officially announced as the starter for this game, but he’s likely to get the nod since the Blue Jays have absolutely no one else capable of starting games at the major-league level. Feierabend and the Blue Jays were probably lucky that their game on Saturday was rained out because it likely would have gotten even uglier against the White Sox.

The 33-year-old who before his last start hadn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2014, was getting absolutely pounded before the skies opened up to rain-out the rest of the game. Feierabend surrendered seven hits, four runs(one home run) and a walk through just four innings pitched. There’s very little chance he’ll get saved by the rain in this game as it’s at the Rogers Centre, so this could be a very rough start for Feierabend against one of the best-offenses in the league.

Frederick Porcello(or Rick to most people) didn’t get off to such a great start to the season. He gave up 22 hits, 14 runs and twelve walks through his first three starts of the season. But Porcello has really improved in his last six starts since.

Over his last six starts, the 30-year-old has given up four runs just once, and has surrendered three runs or less in the other five games he started. Porcello has also struck out five or more batters in five of his last six starts as well. While the Blue Jays lineup will likely be able to record hits off of Porcello, they will likely struggle to drive-in runs due to the amount of strikeouts Porcello is able to create.