Blue Jays open as underdogs to begin Boston series

Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Semien throws over Boston Red Sox's J.D. Martinez but can't get a double play on a ball hit by Xander Bogaerts during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. (Winslow Townson/AP)

The Toronto Blue Jays will be trying to bust out of a slump that has threatened to dump them out of contention in the AL East when they begin a crucial four-game road series with the division-leading Boston Red Sox on Monday as opening +112 underdogs on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto dropped a 5-4 decision on Sunday in the team’s weekend series finale with the New York Mets, and has now come up short in four of its past five outings going into Monday night’s matchup at Fenway Park.

Sunday’s defeat also extended the Blue Jays’ struggles on the road, where they have claimed victory in just three of their past eight outings. The team has lost ground in the AL East during its recent uneven stretch, leaving it stalled in fourth place and trailing the Red Sox by 9.5 games. The Blue Jays have also faded slightly in the AL wild card race, where they now sit four games back of the Oakland A’s. And Toronto’s middling performance is now being felt on the World Series odds, where they have dipped to +2500 odds at sports betting sites.

Further complicating matters for the Blue Jays is their disappointing performance when facing the Red Sox. The team was swept by the Red Sox in a two-game series at Sahlen Field this past week to fall to 4-7 in head-to-head action this season. However, the team has turned in respectable results in recent trips to Fenway Park, going 3-3 this season while surrendering just 3.5 runs per game, and going 6-4 over its past 10.

While the Blue Jays try to get back on track, the Red Sox will be looking to build on a comeback victory in their weekend series finale with the visiting New York Yankees when they return to action on Monday. Boston stormed to a 5-4 win on Sunday on the strength of a five-run eighth inning. With the win, the Red Sox have now claimed victory in five of their past six overall, ending a 2-6 run that had threatened to topple them from atop the division standings.

In addition to compiling a 27-13 record when facing divisional rivals this season, the Red Sox have also been outstanding at home. The team is currently fourth in the AL with 31 home wins, but has gone just 3-3 over its past six, with four of its past five home dates getting decided by just a single run.

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