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MLB Preview for Aug 20, 2010: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox

Jon LesterSo much has gone wrong for the Red Sox this season that betting people are left wondering how the Sox season would have looked if they could have stayed healthy. While the sports fans in Boston are starting to turn towards NFL betting and NCAA football betting, Red Sox Nation is caught up in a battle for the AL East pennant or the AL Wild Card berth with the same two teams; the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox are five and a half games out of the AL East lead and out of the AL Wild Card spot, chasing the Yankees and Rays for both. At this point, it looks like the Yankees and the Rays have the AL East and AL Wild Card tied up. Whoever does not win the AL East will get the AL Wild Card. All the Red Sox can do is try to keep winning and push themselves into that mix.

[adinserter block=”2″]The MLB betting lines early in the season for the AL pennant included the Toronto Blue Jays. It looked like the Blue Jays would be able to recover from losing their pitching ace Roy Halladay before the season started, and challenge for the AL East pennant. But as the season wore on, the Blue Jays watched their starting rotation and bullpen give away game after game. The Jays remain one of the best power hitting teams in baseball cranking out more homeruns than any other team in the majors. But the Jays also top the majors in blown saves and are in the lower half of the majors in team ERA. As many had expected, pitching is a problem for the Blue Jays this season.

The Red Sox needed to put together a wining streak to start making a move, and right now the Sox are on a two-game winning streak that started with their series against the Angels. The problem for the Sox is that the Yankees are also on a two-game winning streak and the Rays are nursing a five-game winning streak. In order to keep up and then gain ground, the Sox must continue to win.

For this critical game the Boston Red Sox are putting pitching ace Jon Lester on the mound. Lester has a 13-7 record and a 2.80 ERA. He has been one of the few pitchers that has remained consistent for the Red Sox this season, and he has been able to put up wins when the Sox need them. In his last 25 consecutive starts Lester has gone at least five innings which is a streak that stretches way back to October of 2009.

[adinserter block=”1″]The Blue Jays will send Brett Cecil to the mound. Cecil has had a fairly successful season with a 9-6 record and a 3.96 ERA. He is a streaky pitcher that goes for long stretches where he has great command of his pitches and lasts seven or eight innings a game. He recently experienced such a stretch not too long ago, but had it snapped in his last start.

The Red Sox need this game, and Jon Lester has the ability to keep the Jays bats at bay. Now that the Red Sox have Dustin Pedroia back in the line-up, they should have the offense they need to beat the Jays.

Pick: Boston Red Sox 4-2

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