A crucial A.L. East Divisional series continues tonight as the Boston Red Sox (45-35) host the Tampa Bay Rays (43-37). Boston pitching shut down the Rays’ bats in the series opener, jumping two full games ahead of Tampa as they continue to chase the New York Yankees. See below for a Rays vs. Red Sox prediction, as well as more insight and analysis.
Rays vs. Red Sox Odds & Analysis
Boston opened as the favorites in this one at -147, but that number has dropped. The Red Sox have won five of the last seven head-to-head meetings with Tampa. The total sits at 9 or 9.5 depending on what site you look at. The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five games between these two teams.
Jeffrey Springs will take the ball for the Rays. Springs, who has been a relief pitcher for most of his career until this season, has just 12 career starts. He is 3-2 on the season with an E.R.A. of 2.25. He hasn’t lost a decision since late May, although he has been hit hard in each of his last two outings.
Boston counters with right-hander Nick Pivetta. After losing four of his first five starts, Pivetta has rebounded by going 8-1 in his last ten outings. He is 1-2 in four career starts vs. the Rays.
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Rays Struggling To Score Runs
The Rays were shutout in the series opener, picking up only two hits in the loss. They are in the bottom third of the league in most offensive categories, including runs scored. It’s amazing they are six games above .500 considering only the Royals, Pirates, Athletics and Tigers have scored fewer runs. They have shown signs of breaking out recently after beating Toronto three straight games over the weekend by a combined score of 24-10.
Tampa depends heavily on their pitching as they boast the fourth best team E.R.A. (3.31) and don’t give other clubs many free passes, allowing the third fewest walks in the majors (208).
Boston Bats Have Helped Turn The Season Around
Back on May 17th, the Red Sox were 14-22 and many experts were questioning what was wrong with this team. Since then, they have gone 31-13 and are one of the best hitting teams in baseball. Their odds to win the World Series keep getting lower, but you can still get them at +2800.
They are being led by their three-headed monster, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, who are all hitting over .300. Devers leads all players with 104 hits and has reached base safely in 13 straight games. Bogaerts missed Monday’s game with a thigh injury.
Home cooking has been kind to the Red Sox. They have won five straight and nine of their last 11 games at Fenway.
Rays vs. Red Sox Pick Insights
Rays: Keys to Victory
Speed on the base pads. The Rays need to find a way to generate runs. They are second in the American League in stolen bases, so if they can get runners on and somehow disrupt Pivetta by swiping bases then it may be wise to bet on the road underdog when making your Rays vs. Red Sox pick.
Red Sox: Keys to Victory
Trevor Story. The Red Sox second baseman may only be hitting .225 this season, but he seems to get up for games against the Rays. He has hit safely in all four contests vs. Tampa this season after picking up a pair of hits yesterday, including a home run. If that trend continues, Boston will have a good chance to make it two wins in a row.
Odds Shark’s Computer Rays vs. Red Sox Prediction: Rays +110 ML
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