After earning a split in their mini two-game series in Miami, the Blue Jays are now heading to Boston for a crucial five-game set with the Red Sox.
Heading into a series, I’ll generally do a look at the starting pitching match-ups, but, given the state of Boston’s pitching staff, there isn’t really much to look at. It’ll be Martin Perez on Thursday and then ‘Guy You Haven’t Heard Of’ followed by ‘Other Guy You Haven’t Heard Of’ with a touch of Zack Godley sprinkled in the middle.
From a Blue Jays’ perspective, it’ll be Taijuan Walker starting the series opener on Thursday. After that, we know Ross Stripling will start one of the games on Friday, and we can estimate that Tanner Roark will start the other, and then Saturday and Sunday should be Chase Anderson and the Julian Merryweather/Robbie Ray combination respectively.
But, of course, a lot can change over the course of a good old fashioned five-games-in-four-days-at-Fenway baseball fest, so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Anyways, this is a really, really important set for the Jays. The Sox are 12-25 and their pitching, of course, is a total mess. They also sold off guys like Blue Jays Murderer Mitch Moreland, relievers Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman, and Kevin Pillar ahead of the deadline, so they’re a weaker team now than they were the last time we saw them.
Still, beating Boston in Boston is never an automatic, even though this is just the rotting corpse of the Red Sox dangling on strings.
It’s key the Jays do well in this series, because, after this trip to Boston, things start to get more difficult. Here’s what we have the rest of the way…
- Three games in Buffalo against the Yankees,
- Off day,
- Three games in Buffalo against the Mets,
- Off day,
- Three games in New York against the Yankees,
- Four games in Philly against the Phillies, including a doubleheader,
- Four games in Buffalo against the Yankees,
- Three games in Buffalo against the Orioles.
And then the season is over.
So, that’s 10 games against New York, seven against decent teams, the Mets and Phillies, who are currently vying for playoff spots, and three games at the end against the Orioles, who are bad.
Meanwhile, just one-and-a-half games behind the Jays are the suddenly-red-hot Detroit Tigers, who I’m fairly certain have already eclipsed their win total from 2019 this year. (Don’t look it up).
With the Orioles bowing out by selling at the deadline, Detroit is really Toronto’s only legitimate competition for the eighth playoff spot in the American League. Here’s what Detroit has the rest of the way…
- Five games in Minnesota against the Twins, including a doubleheader,
- Two games in Detroit against the Brewers,
- A doubleheader in St. Louis against the Cardinals,
- Three games in Chicago against the White Sox,
- Off day,
- Two games in Detroit against the Royals,
- Four games in Detroit against the Clevelanders,
- Off day,
- Two games in Minnesota against the Twins,
- Four games in Kansas City against the Royals.
The Tigers have the benefit of playing six games against the shitty Royals, but this is an even more difficult schedule than the one Toronto is facing. Detroit will be playing 14 games against the Twins, White Sox, and Cleveland, who are all good, and they also have four more against the Cardinals and Brewers, who are vying for playoff spots.
So, hopefully, the Jays can get the job done against Boston and Minnesota can kick the shit out of Detroit this weekend, so we have a nice, stress-free September, and we don’t have to worry toooooooo much about this 10-game gauntlet against the Yankees.
We don’t want another 1987 situation here.