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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:58 PM

Tuesday's Best Bet

Tuesday MLB Betting Preview
Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays

After a wild two-game series over in London against the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox are still in a foreign country as they visit the Blue Jays for a three-game set beginning tonight. The Sox can't be happy with their results from London given that they were swept, and with the Yankees (and Rays) pulling further and further away in the AL East, the Sox may end up being that quality team that's on the outside of the playoff picture this year; a scenario that seemingly happens to at least one team in MLB each year.

Boston does have a great opportunity to string a few wins together though before the All-Star break with this series against Toronto, and a trip to play the lowly Detroit Tigers on the weekend, but you never know how much energy those two games in London drained from them. From the travel, to the emotion involved on numerous levels, to the sightseeing during time off, those days overseas were packed for Red Sox players, and even with the days off for travel to and from London, a trip like that can take plenty out of a player.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays come into this series having blown out the Royals on Canada Day on Monday, winning 11-4 to take three of four from Kansas City. It was just two weekends ago that Toronto went into Boston and took two of three there, and given the possibility of tonight's game being such a negative or 'flat' spot for Boston, are the Jays worth a serious look as home dogs tonight?

MLB Odds: Boston (-156) vs Toronto (+146); Total set at 9.5

A scenario like this for the Red Sox always makes it tough to pull the trigger on a Boston ML play as it's just hard to fully gauge how a team will react to a mid-season overseas trip. While those ordeals are great for growing the game globally, they take a lot out of the players and we might not see this Red Sox team look 'comfortable' again until after the All-Star break.

Thankfully, Boston's not got to transition to facing elite competition right away, and even a fatigued Boston team should be able to do alright this week against the likes of the Jays and Tigers. Dropping two of three at home to Toronto a few weekends back was a big moment of embarrassment for this Boston team, and jet lag be damned, they'll be out for some measure of revenge over these next three days north of the border.

On the flip side of things, Toronto's first year of their youth movement has started to find their legs as all these top prospects like Vlad Jr, Cavan Biggio, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr have really gotten quite comfortable in their big league garb. The Blue Jays offense, which was absolutely brutal through the first two months of the year, comes into this series having scored 6+ runs in five straight and 10 of their last 12 overall. There will still be plenty of ebbs and flows for this young lineup, but right now they are hitting everything, and redemption-minded or not, that's not a particularly good situation for Boston in this series.

The Red Sox can mash too, and while we probably end up seeing a 8-7 type game in this series, I don't believe that game will end up being tonight. That brings me to tonight's total as it's one I firmly believe is a shade too high for this scenario.

Oddsmakers don't really have much of a choice to go any lower than a 9.5 number given it is the Red Sox – who just scored 21 runs in two games over in London – and the Blue Jays bats involved – 6 or more runs in 10 of last 12 games – but with the market already overwhelming in favor of backing the high side of this total tonight, I find it quite telling that all we've really seen in the vig jump around on this 9.5 number. Betting percentages at VegasInsider.com currently show 85%+ of the action on the 'over' tonight as on paper it looks like the easy way to go. We all saw the scoring fest that was the London series, and Toronto just put up 11 runs yesterday in a stand alone afternoon game for the national holiday.

But going low after a team scored in double figures is generally a spot scenario I love to back, and with Toronto averaging just 3.28 runs per game after scoring 10 or more runs, this might be one of those spots where we see the “ebb” nature of this ebb and flow young Toronto offense. Most of the Jays were kept in check the lone time they saw David Price this year – a 12-2 Boston win in Toronto back in May – and it's not like Price isn't capable of duplicating that result.

At the same time, you've got to figure fatigue in some form is going to plague Boston's lineup, at least for one night, as they get reacquainted with Eastern Standard Time again. We aren't likely going to see the bats be what they were in London, and with the way their bullpen got taxed over there, getting a quality start from Price is high on the list of goals tonight.

Boston is 2-6 O/U with Price on the hill after he's had plenty of rest (6+ days), and only five of his last 17 starts overall have cashed 'over' tickets (5-11-1 O/U). Five of his last seven starts within AL East play have also managed to stay south of the total, and Price has always loved to pitch in this dome throughout his career, whether he was in the visitor or home dugout. With some noise about Boston potentially giving some key bats like Benintendi and Bogaerts a day off to rest some ailing bumps and bruises, we may not even see anywhere near the best version of Boston's lineup either.

So it's a scenario that lines up quite well for an 'under' play tonight, as the situation for both sides combined with heavy market action going the other way is just too good of a spot to pass up.

Best Bet: Under 9.5

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