Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups (5/3/23)

The Red Sox have certainly benefited from their schedule early on, winning games against non-divisional opponents to stay in the thick of the early postseason race. To take their next step they’ll need to replicate these performances against AL East rivals, and the Blue Jays provide them this opportunity. The Blue Jays will have struggling ace Alek Manoah on the mound Wednesday facing Nick Pivetta. Toronto is a road favorite at -145 on the moneyline.

Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s game at Fenway Park and take a look at why the Blue Jays can win this one on the road.

Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Prediction

The story of this game is Manoah, who looked dominant at Yankee Stadium but hit some more bumps against the light-hitting Mariners last time out. He only allowed 2 ER in 5 IP, but walks popped up as an issue again and he allowed six hits to a team hitting below .220.

There’s still enough promise in those last two starts – including a season-high seven strikeouts against Seattle – to make Toronto the better bet here. The Blue Jays showed Tuesday night how quickly they can pile on runs when they posted a six-run inning, and Pivetta’s struggles indicate they should be able to give Manoah plenty of run support.

Whether the Red Sox can take advantage of Manoah’s recent control issues and keep the line moving on the basepaths will be key, but there are enough pitching concerns on Boston’s side to make Blue Jays -145 the pick.

Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Prediction: Blue Jays -145

Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Odds

The Blue Jays enter as road favorites at -145 on the moneyline. The over/under is 9.5 runs.

On the surface this line looks like it shows serious confidence in Manoah to take a step forward, but the over/under indicates a lack of faith in Pivetta is just as much of a factor. Bettors who aren’t confident in Manoah could like the value with the Red Sox here, though Pivetta makes them a very risky pick.

Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Key Matchups

Here are the key matchups that could decide Blue Jays vs. Red Sox.

Bo Bichette vs. Nick Pivetta

Nick Pivetta hasn’t given up a concerning amount of hits this season, but the home runs and walks have killed him. The issues could get even worse if one of the best contact hitters in the sport is able to get on base a few times Wednesday.

Bo Bichette has been hitting out of his mind this season, with two games of 5+ hits including one against the Red Sox in the series opener. Bichette entered Tuesday batting .344, and it’ll be interesting to see whether pitchers start to pitch around him.

The only real flaw in Bichette’s profile is that he rarely walks, but with a .344 AVG, it’s not hurting him much. Will Pivetta, who’s struggled with control, give him pitches to hit? If he doesn’t, will Bichette be patient enough to take a walk or two?

Red Sox Lineup vs. Alek Manoah Control Issues

To this point, Alek Manoah hasn’t looked like the pitcher he was in 2021 and 2022. Control issues have been the central reason for his struggles. Manoah is walking 5.7 batters per nine innings, and he just hasn’t pitched well enough to erase those baserunners.

Manoah’s home run rate and hit rate are also both elevated, but the damage would be less severe if he weren’t handing out so many free passes.

The Red Sox have been near the middle of the pack in walks this season, getting 3.5 per game out of their lineup. Can they stay patient against Manoah? Alex Verdugo and Masataka Yoshida are two hitters who have gotten on base consistently for Boston this season and will be crucial vs. Manoah.

Blue Jays vs. Red Sox Starting Lineups

Blue Jays Starting Lineup

CF George Springer R
SS Bo Bichette R
1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. R
3B Matt Chapman R
LF Daulton Varsho
2B Whit Merrifield R
DH Brandon Belt L
C Alejandro Kirk R
CF Kevin Kiermaier L

Red Sox Starting Lineup

RF Alex Verdugo L
LF Masataka Yoshida L
DH Justin Turner R
3B Rafael Devers L
CF Jarren Duran L
SS Kike Hernandez R
1B Triston Casas L
2B Enmanuel Valdez L
C Reese McGuire L

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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