The Boston Red Sox will try to finish off a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays tonight when they send John Lackey to the hill at Tropicana Field.
The BoSox pitching has dominated the Rays’ stout lineup in the first two games of this series. Boston won Game 1 on Monday night by a score of 6-1 behind six solid innings from starter Clay Buchholz. Jon Lester picked up where Buchholz left off in Game 2 with six shutout innings in a 2-0 Red Sox win. The two starters combined to give up only one run on seven hits while striking out 17 over 12 innings.
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Boston would love to get a similar performance out of Lackey (4-3, 5.07). He has lost his last two starts and last time out against the Phillies he allowed four runs on six hits while walking five in five innings. Lackey last faced the Rays on April 19 and he had a horrible outing after getting roughed up for eight runs on nine hits in 3 1-3 innings. With Lackey set to start tonight the Sox are a +145 underdog at Bovada.
The Rays will send Matt Garza (5-2, 2.37) to the hill tonight to try and end their two-game losing streak. Garza was a tough-luck loser last time out after allowing only two runs on six hits over eight innings versus Houston. He owned the Red Sox the last time he faced them on April 19, when he tossed eight shutout innings. The Rays are a -155 favorite in tonight's game.
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Looking ahead for Boston, they head home on Thursday for a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals. The Rays simply change Sox when Boston leaves, as they welcome the Chicago White Sox on Thursday for a four-game set at Tropicana.
Rockies give the ball to Jimenez
If you're seeking what looks like a sure thing for bettors tonight check out Arizona at Colorado. The Rockies hand the ball to ace Ubaldo Jimenez (8-1, 0.99), and that's usually meant a Colorado win this season. Jimenez improved to 8-1 on the season last time out by tossing seven shutout innings versus Houston.
The last time he faced the Diamondbacks in April he pitched six shutout innings. Getting the ball for Arizona tonight is veteran Rodrigo Lopez (2-2, 4.42). Lopez was lucky to escape with a no-decision in his last start after the Giants ripped him for six runs on 10 hits in five innings. His only career appearance against the Rockies was out of the bullpen last season when he allowed two runs on five hits in two innings of work.