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Red Sox at Blue Jays lineups: If anyone can turn this around, it’s Nate Eovaldi

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The Sox still don’t have the starting pitcher advantage tonight, but at least there’s some implied confidence for a team sorely lacking it.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Do it, buddy.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox head to Canada for the first time since 2019 in desperate need of some good vibes behind Nathan Eovaldi, plainly their best starting pitcher this year, as they face down the burly Blue Jays and electric youngster Alek Manoah in Toronto (7:07 p.m., NESN).

Earlier this summer the Sox had the fortune to miss Manoah after he slipped on the dugout steps, requiring a short IL trip. No such fortune this time. The late-blooming star has been great this year, pitching to a 2.47 ERA in a division that features the Sox, Rays, Yankees and one other team I forget (Phillies maybe?). Eovaldi has legitimately been good this year and pitched to a 3.71 ERA, which ought to tell you just how great Manoah has been, and yes, I know there are better measurements than ERA, but I’m not using those measurements right now, so pfft. Too Long; Did Read: They’re both good.

The Sox enter the game 1.5 back of the Rays and 5 ahead of the Jays, which could get pretty tight if Boston’s woes continue throughout the weekend. Perhaps underscoring the importance of the game, Jarren Duran is on the bench against a righty (actually it’s the COVID-19 list, butts), with Alex Verdugo back up in what was once his customary 2-hole (speaking of butts). In fact the whole lineup is something straight out of mid-June. The Blue Jays are without the services of Cavan Biggio, which means they start someone named Breyvic Valera at third base. Your guess is as good as mine.

Please, guys.

Game 111 at Blue Jays

Lineup spot Red Sox Blue Jays
Lineup spot Red Sox Blue Jays
1 Kiké Hernández, CF George Springer, DH
2 Alex Verdugo, LF Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B
3 J.D. Martinez, DH Marcus Semien, 2B
4 Xander Bogaerts, SS Bo Bichette, SS
5 Rafael Devers, 3B Teoscar Hernández, RF
6 Hunter Renfroe, RF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., LF
7 Marwin Gonzalez, 2B Alejandro Kirk, C
8 Christian Vázquez, C Randal Grichuk, CF
9 Franchy Cordero, 1B Breyvic Valera, 3B
SP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Alek Manoah, RHP