Red Sox vs Blue Jays Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Tonight’s MLB Game

Yusei Kikuchi has found his form again and the Red Sox struggle to keep pace against lefties. With the Blue Jays bats still flailing regularly, Nick Pivetta can cause them fits. That matchup alone has the early Under in play.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
Jun 17, 2024 • 15:44 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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Yusei Kikuchi Toronto Blue Jays MLB
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The Toronto Blue Jays finally took a series against a good team and are just 4.5 games out of an American League wild-card spot. While the MLB odds aren’t in their favor, the Boston Red Sox happen to be one of the teams they're chasing. 

Our latest batch of Red Sox vs. Blue Jays predictions come as these rivals gear up to play six of their next nine games against each other, starting tonight at Rogers Centre.

With Yusei Kikuchi facing off against Nick Pivetta, runs could be hard to come by and my MLB picks look at why.

Red Sox vs Blue Jays prediction

My best bet
Under 4.5 first five innings (-145 at PROLINE+)

My analysis

The Toronto Blue Jays got a much-needed series win against a good baseball team, taking two of three from the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians over the weekend. Now, will they be able to carry that momentum into these pivotal six games against the rival Boston Red Sox?

The Red Sox enter this series 1.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays and are also feeling confident after winning a series against the hated AL East-leading New York Yankees.

So, this series should have plenty of intensity, which we’ll see right away from tonight's starting pitchers. 

Hard-throwing Blue Jays lefty Yusei Kikuchi has proven last year’s breakout was no fluke. He's pitching to a 3.42 expected ERA and has dropped his walk rate even further this season, with it now sitting at 5.9%. He also broke out of his mini-slump and has allowed just one earned run on seven hits while striking out 11 over his last two starts and now gets a great matchup against the BoSox.

Boston has had some struggles vs. southpaws, ranking 16th in OPS and wRC+, which is OK, but they rank dead last in strikeout rate. 

Boston counters Kikuchi with Canadian Nick Pivetta. The right-hander has been tagged a few times but has been solid for the Red Sox overall this season. Pivetta is pitching to a 3.62 xERA, is limiting opponents to a .230 xBA, and is striking out a big 29.3% of batters faced.

That isn’t a good thing for a Jays squad struggling to string hits together. Toronto ranks 20th in batting average, 16th in OPS, and 15th in wRC+ when facing right-handed pitchers this season. Driving in runners has been the biggest problem, as the Jays rank 21st in OPS with runners in scoring position.

That has me thinking the starters will have the edge early in this matchup, which means I’m targeting the Under in the first five innings.

Blue Jays star player prop

My best bet
Yusei Kikuchi Over 6.5 strikeouts (-125 at PROLINE+)

Kikuchi's strikeout prop is on the board at 6.5 and while he has only gone Over this number five times this season, I like his chances to eclipse that number tonight.

Kikuchi’s strikeout rate this season is a solid 23.6% (58th percentile) and he faces 23 batters per game. That works out to about 5.4 strikeouts per start, but the Red Sox strike out a whopping 28.7% of the time vs. left-handed pitchers and have the fourth-highest whiff rate. 

Boston is also average at best when it comes to hitting against lefties, so Kikuchi will have a chance to work deeper while racking up the Ks. Kikuchi has also punished teams like the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles, both of which are also in the Top 7 when it comes to K-rate vs. lefties.

Watch Kikuchi work his magic tonight and punch out a bunch of BoSox batters.

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Red Sox vs Blue Jays odds

Red Sox vs Blue Jays live odds

Red Sox vs Blue Jays opening odds

  • Run line: Boston +1.5 (-210) | Toronto -1.5 (+175)
  • Moneyline: Boston +105 | Toronto -125
  • Over/Under: Over 8.0 (-106) | Under 8.0 (-106)

Red Sox vs Blue Jays spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Blue Jays opened this AL East matchup as -125 home favorites and have seen a slight edge in the early action with the line now in the -130 range.
  • This will be the first time these teams have faced off this season. The Red Sox had edged the Blue Jays in the season series a year ago 7-6.
  • The total hit the board at an even 8.0 but early bettors have jumped on the Under, dropping the number to 7.5 as of Monday afternoon.
  • The Blue Jays have been one of the better Under teams in baseball at 30-40 O/U thanks to some solid pitching and inconsistent hitting. The Under is 9-5 when Kikuchi takes the ball this season.

Red Sox vs Blue Jays trend

The Blue Jays have hit the Game Total Under in 38 of their last 66 games for +9.00 Units and a 12% ROI. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Blue Jays

Red Sox vs Blue Jays game info

Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Date: Monday, 6-17-2024
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV: NESN, Sportsnet
Red Sox starting pitcher: Nick Pivetta
(3-4, 3.88 ERA)
Blue Jays starting pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi
(4-5, 3.26 ERA)

Red Sox vs Blue Jays latest injuries

Red Sox vs Blue Jays weather

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