We’re 11 days into the 2016 MLB season and so far the Orioles look like the class of the AL East. The rest of the division is jumbled with the Yankees (4-3), Red Sox (4-4), Blue Jays (4-5) and Rays (3-5) all within a game or two of one another.
The Sox will again tackle a division foe this weekend at Fenway as the Blue Jays – who were the pre-season favorite to win the AL East – come to town. The Red Sox impressed just last weekend against the Jays up North, taking two out of three games. In the two victories, Boston put up eight runs per game before petering out with a goose-egg in a series finale loss on Sunday.
The Sunday shutout was easily Boston’s worst offensive performance of the season. On the whole, the Sox have been outstanding at the plate as they lead the American League in runs scored with 44 already on the season. They’re scoring at a 5.5 runs per game clip and have a team batting average of .280.
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The pitching has been a different story as even ace hurler David Price was roughed up earlier in the week against Baltimore. In the series opener against the Blue Jays on Friday (7 p.m., NESN), the Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound. Porcello has already beaten Toronto this season as he worked 6.0 innings, allowing four earned runs and seven hits while striking out seven last Saturday. Porcello was decent to start off the year last season too as he looked good in his first two outings before being tattooed by Baltimore in start No. 3.
Steven Wright (0-1, 1.35 ERA) will get the ball for Boston on Saturday, Price (1-0, 5.73 ERA) will make his third start for the Sox on Sunday and Clay Buchholz (0-1, 10.00 ERA) is scheduled to take the hill on Patriots’ Day in the series finale against the Jays.
The Red Sox rank 27th in all of baseball in team ERA with a 5.40 mark. The Blue Jays’ staff isn’t any great shakes either as they rank 14th in MLB in ERA (3.76).