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American League East Action: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

The Boston Red Sox will look to extend their winning streak to six games when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. The Red Sox took the first game of the series 10-7 in 10 innings on Tuesday night. Boston is also a -133 favorite to win on Wednesday.

The Red Sox are an astounding 46 games over .500. They have a winning percentage of .702. Fresh of their four-game sweep of the Yankees, Boston’s lead atop the AL East has grown to nine games, as they are officially running away with the division.

Toronto, meanwhile, is set to play out the season. The Blue Jays are 10 games under .500 and 28 games behind the Red Sox. After trading away a few pieces before the trade deadline, the Blue Jays are looking to get younger and could make a few more waiver trades in August.

Filling In

With Chris Sale on the DL, Brian Johnson will get another start for the Red Sox on Wednesday. Johnson has pitched mostly out of the bullpen for the Red Sox this year, but he’s been part of Boston’s rotation since the end of June and pitched well. Over his seven starters, Johnson has posted a 2.57 ERA, which is far better than his 5.10 ERA as a reliever. Johnson was roughed up by the Yankees in his last start. But he gave up two runs or less in his previous five starts, so he’s been quite consistent.

The caveat with Johnson is that he typically doesn’t last more than five innings, so the Red Sox will have to rely on their bullpen to do some heavy lifting on Wednesday. Johnson has also struggled against some of Toronto’s hitters, most notably Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar, and Justin Smoak, who are a combined 10 for 21 against him. The Blue Jays have also seen players like Aledmys Diaz, Devon Travis, and Randall Grichuk swing a hot bat over the past week, so Johnson may have his work cut out for him.

New Kid on the Block

Starting for the Blue Jays on Wednesday will be Mike Hauschild. The 28-year old will be making his first career big league start after pitching six shutout innings in relief against the Mariners last week. Before that outing, Hauschild’s only major league experience was four relief outings with the Rangers last year in which he allowed 10 runs, including five home runs, in just eight innings of work.

To be fair, shutting out Seattle’s lineup for six innings is no small accomplishment. However, Red Sox lineup is in a whole other league. With a few regulars on the DL, the Boston’s lineup isn’t quite as deep as it could be. However, no one’s been able to get Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez out lately. All three are hitting .400 or better over the past week, so it may be a matter of when not if they do damage against Hauschild.

Lucky Six

It’s hard to imagine the Red Sox not winning their sixth game in a row on Wednesday in Toronto. The Blue Jays may be able to put up a fight like they did on Tuesday, but with Hauschild on the mound, Toronto should be overmatched. If Johnson can deliver five solid innings, Boston’s bullpen should be able to take it the rest of the way. Bet on the Red Sox -133 to win on Wednesday.

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