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Red Sox at Blue Jays lineups: The one where first place is *not* on the line

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The Sox look to extend their AL East lead tonight in Florida.

Los Angeles Angels v Boston Red Sox
High-five!
Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The wily Nick Pivetta can keep the haters at bay with another strong start tonight as the Red Sox face the Blue Jays (7:37 p.m.) in Dunedin, Florida.

How has Pivetta been this good? Funny you should ask. OTM big boss Matt Collins tackled this very question today. His take:

I’m still a bit skeptical of what Pivetta is doing right now and whether or not he’ll be able to keep it up. Even with his control improving a bit his last couple times out, it still feels like these walks will come to bite him a bit. We also know this is a league of adjustments, and batters will certainly adjust to the way Pivetta is pitching and take advantage of some of these mistakes if they continue to be thrown. At the same time, there’s a long way for the righty to drop before being unusable, or even below-average. At the very least, I’m off the train of expecting a move to the bullpen, and I’m moving closer and closer to outright confidence in him with each of these starts.

Pivetta takes the mound again Thursday night against the Blue Jays, and the ultimate test of his success will be whether or not he can overcome the OTM jinx.

You heard it here second, folks: If Pivetta returns to Earth this evening, it’s Matt’s fault.

As usual in this very consistent season, most of the lineup returns from yesterday. Chavis is back, as is Hunter Renfroe, but the meat is the same. The Blue Jays send lefty Steven Matz to the mound. I won’t complain about the lineups being late, but they were. Nevermind, I will: teams are plainly using lineup submissions as a competitive advantage and that’s stupid and should be fine-worthy, not because it angers me, but because it’s a horseshit move. Grow up.

Game 45 at Blue Jays

Lineup spot Red Sox Blue Jays
Lineup spot Red Sox Blue Jays
1 Kiké Hernández, CF Marcus Semien, SS
2 Alex Verdugo, LF Bo Bichette, DH
3 J.D. Martinez, DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B
4 Xander Bogaerts, SS Teoscar Hernández, LF
5 Rafael Devers, 3B Randal Grichuk, RF
6 Christian Vázquez, C Cavan Biggio, 2B
7 Hunter Renfroe, RF Santiago Espinal, 3B
8 Bobby Dalbec, 1B Danny Jansen, C
9 Michae Chavis, 2B Jonathan Davis, CF
SP Nick Pivetta, RHP Steven Matz, LHP