It’s a position with which the Boston Red Sox is not very familiar: being without a playoff spot.
As the Blue Jays and Red Sox get ready to tangle for a crucial three-game series at the Rogers Centre, Boston hopes to gain some ground in the Wild Card race, while the Jays will once again look to play spoilers.
Just like the Blue Jays, the Red Sox have tumbled from the top of the standings, and at one point earlier this year, sat 21 games over .500.
While a 66-51 record is nothing to scoff at, 15 games above .500 isn’t even enough to hold down the American League Wild Card.
Josh Beckett (14-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. Ricky Romero (10-5, 3.70 ERA)
Ricky Romero has lost some steam in his campaign for AL Rookie of the Year. Romero is 3-2 with a 5.45 ERA since the All-Star Break, whereas Beckett is 3-2 with a 2.25 ERA in the second half so far.
Clay Buchholz (1-3, 4.75 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (13-5, 2.65 ERA)
Prior to his last start against the Rays, Roy Halladay had not posted back-to-back wins since early June. Doc will hope for the continued run support, as he goes for his third straight win on Wednesday against Clay Buchholz.
Jon Lester (9-7, 3.71 ERA) vs. Brett Cecil (5-1, 4.35 ERA)
In his last start against the Boston Red Sox, Cecil gave up a season-high eight runs in what was his only loss of the season. That start sticks out, of course, because Cecil was the unofficial slump buster for David Ortiz to come out of his home run drought of 35 games.
This will be Cecil’s first start since suffering a knee injury on Aug. 8 against the Baltimore Orioles. Cecil will have a tall order when he faces off against the Red Sox strikeout machine, Jon Lester. He is 2-1 against the Blue Jays this year, with a 2.33 ERA.