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Series Preview: It’s Clobbering Time!

The Blue Jays lineup has been mashing the baseball as of late. Over the last week, the Blue Jays have scored the 2nd-most runs within the entire AL. While their surging offense hasn’t directly resulted in a massive winning streak, it has made the Blue Jays competitive over the last few weeks.

This team hasn’t lost by more than two runs since June 19. Since that date, the Blue Jays own a record of just 6-5. But, they have also recorded the 2nd-highest run differential in the AL since that time as well. The Red Sox are coming into this series after getting beaten down by the Bronx Bombers. After being embarrassed by the Yankees in another country, the Blue Jays will try to do the same thing to these Red Sox during this three-game series.

Monday at 7:07 ET

Trent Thornton is coming off of his worst-start since May 8 against the Twins. The rookie was pounded in his three and 1/3 innings pitched last time out against the Yankees. Thornton gave up seven hits, five runs and two home runs before being chased from the game. Locating in and out of the strike zone was the problem yet again for Thornton in this start.

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The 25-year-old threw 37 of his 88 pitches out of the strike zone, and surrendered 12 fly balls compared to just one ground ball. So basically, Thornton was missing everywhere with his pitches in his latest-outing. While the Red Sox surrendered the 5th-most runs in the AL in June, they also produced the 2nd-most runs in the AL for June as well. Which means Thornton will need to do a more effective job at locating his pitches in this start to record his first win since June 16.

The price has certainly not been wrong so far this season for David Price. The 33-year-old has been one of the only good things about the Red Sox pitching rotation this season. While Price has missed some time this season, he still owns the lowest-ERA among starters on the Red Sox.

Price is also coming off one of his better starts so far this season. The former-Blue Jay allowed just two earned runs and recorded nine strikeouts in his six-innings of work against the White Sox. Price has now not allowed a home run since June 2, and hasn’t given up a walk since June 13. So the Blue Jays will likely have to string hits together to create runs off of Price in this start.

Tuesday at 7:07 ET

This start against the Red Sox could determine the future of Sean Reid-Foley’s career. Yes, I said it, just one start could be crucial for the future of a young pitcher’s career. This start is like no other for Reid-Foley, he’s coming off of a good start against a rebuilding team who has just a few good hitters on their team.

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But now, the 23-year-old is going up against a Red Sox lineup that has something to prove in this series. Which means so does Reid-Foley, he has to prove that he can be a starter at the major-league level. His 6.7 BB/9 and 1.51 SO/BB just won’t cut it in the majors. So this start could be a make or break it as a starter for Reid-Foley.

Chris Sale is likely seeking to finish the first-half of the season on a high note. The seven-time all-star has sustained a rollercoaster type season up to this point in the season. While Sale has continued to create eye-popping strikeout numbers, he has also given up a lot more runs than he’s usually accustomed to.

Sale’s latest-start against the White Sox is a prime example of that. The 30-year-old recorded ten strikeouts, but also gave up five runs and a home run through his six-innings of work. Sale is also pitching with a 1.2 HR/9 which is the highest of his career. The Blue Jays hit the 2nd-most home runs in the AL last month. Which means they will need to attempt to take advantage of Sale if he’s unable to locate his pitches effectively.

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Wednesday at 7:07 ET

Thankfully, Stro-Show appears to be alright after he was forced to leave his latest-start with a pectoral cramp. The lone representative for the Blue Jays at this year’s all-star game was on track to earn his 6th-win of the season before exiting.

Stroman surrendered three runs on four hits through his shortened four-innings against the Royals in his last start. The Blue Jays will likely be cautious with Stroman in this start against the Red Sox. As they cannot afford to lose their prized trade chip to injury this close to July 31.

The Red Sox have yet to name a starter for this game against the Blue Jays. But, they will have multiple options they will be able to turn to because of the many off-days they received because of the London series. Rick Porcello would be the likeliest choice for the Red Sox to choose for this game.

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The 30-year-old last pitched on Saturday and threw just 33 pitches before he was chased from the game by the Yankees. Porcello recorded just one out and gave up an embarrassing six runs on five hits. Following that start, Porcello currently owns a 5.07 ERA, 1.404 WHIP, 9.8 H/9 and a 94 ERA+.