The Jays are a game up on the Red Sox in the standings, and a million games up in our hearts. Advance Scout!
Just some quick hits, as time is short on this Freja's Day.
Clay Buchholz, Felix Dubront and Daniel Bard take the mound for the Red Sox in this series. Hands up if you would have guessed Doubront would be the best Sox pitcher through two months of the season. He's been quite good, while most of the other Sox pitchers have not. The Bard experiment has not worked very well to date, as he has walked the third most batters amongst qualified pitchers (BB%). Buchholz isn't much better in the walks department (Drabek is actually second worst, and Romero 5th, for what it's worth), and isn't striking guys out. Combined with sky high home run and balls in play rates and he's getting consistently torched. Bard and Doubront have each faced the Jays once, both going five; Bard gave up 5 runs and Doubront 2.
Hitting wise, other than not having any outfielders the Red Sox are doing okay: they're second to the Rangers in the AL, and the gap between them and #3 is quite large. David Ortiz is hitting like it's 2006, and is striking out less often than he has at any point in his career... Will Middlebrooks is doing his best Ted Williams impression, but is basically a real estate bubble waiting to burst. He's walking 4% of the time and striking out 29%, he has a .400 BABIP, and a quarter of his fly balls are going out. So basically, sell high, fantasy owners... Meanwhile Jarrod Salta... Saltala... Jarrod Salty is doing his best JP Arencibia impression, hitting .281/.316/.594. His platoon-mate, Kelly Shoppach, is only hitting .270/.370/.492. Natch... Meanwhile Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez are doing very un-Gonzalez and un-Youklian things, while Dustin Pedroia isn't in peak form in the least. Jacoby Ellsbury's been out almost all year, while Hot Carl Crawford has actually been out all year, with Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney, Marlon Byrd, Darnell McDonald and now Scott Podsednik filling in. Most of these guys have actually been great in spot duty, but the guys they've replaced aren't any slouches, so I wouldn't count out the Red Sox just yet.
Song to Advance Scout By: Well, since the Jays swept the last series, the law is pretty clear that we have to repeat our song of the scout. Since I don't know any other Carly Rae Jepsen songs, here is the Harvard Baseball team performing to Call Me Maybe.
Chart: Thanks, Fangraphs, for the data.