Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox Betting Preview
The Tampa Bay Rays will be traveling to historic Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox after a terrible stretch for Boston. The Rays have had their number as of late as they have won the last five games played between them. Bovada has the Red Sox listed as a -120 favorite on the money line, but the Rays +1.5 being -170, and those are the two bets we are going to be aiming for in today’s game.
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The Rays are 21-8 in their last 29 games and have taken control of the AL East, with Boston beginning to fall apart. They will have right-hander Luis Patino taking the pill here, and he has been decent since the All-Star break as in the last three starts. He is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA.
Their offense has taken a huge leap, as in their seven games in August, they are averaging six runs a night. Tampa’s bullpen has been incredible this season as they are only behind the San Diego Padres with their 3.00 bullpen ERA. Overall, all cylinders are beginning to click for Tampa as they are trying to solidify a playoff spot in a wild AL East division.
Boston has been terrible as of late as they have lost nine of their last 11 games, including being just 1-7 in their last eight games against divisional opponents. They will be looking to snap their terrible stretch with southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound. He faced the Rays earlier this season and did not factor into the decision as he went six innings and allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Their starting pitching as a whole has been struggling and is a big reason why the losing stretch has occurred. In the last 23 games, Boston’s starting pitchers have a combined 5.05 ERA. The Red Sox have been struggling at the plate, only scoring 23 runs in their last eight games (2.88 runs per game), and Boston’s bullpen has been a bit shaky as they are 11th in the majors with a 3.77 combined ERA, including a 6.00 bullpen ERA in their last 14 games.
Boston is playing their worst baseball of the season and has allowed teams like the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays to catch up to them in the standings and make the AL Wild Card race a whole lot tighter. The Rays have been incredible with the power swings of left fielder Austin Meadows and designated hitter Nelson Cruz leading the way. This Boston collapse has happened around when the front office decided they were not going to trade for much help to rejuvenate the major league roster, so that can be a factor as the only Trade Deadline acquisition was an injured Kyle Schwarber, who doesn’t defend very well and has not been lifted from the Injured List.
Eduardo Rodriguez is pitching to a 6.35 home ERA this season, and that does not give me a lot of hope as Tampa Bay can score runs in a myriad of ways.
The Boston offense has been elite this season but has been anything but that recently, as in the last 15 days, right fielder Hunter Renfroe has been the only player to hit multiple home runs (3) but has a .152/.188/.413 slash line in the 13 games he played. This Tampa Bay team seems to have Boston on the ropes as they are currently tied with the Oakland Athletics for the second AL Wild Card spot and are in danger of falling out of the playoffs altogether. Tampa Bay has been playing extremely well as one of the hottest teams in the last 30 days, and Vegas is giving the better team +1.5 on the run line so go with the Rays to dominate against an average pitching staff at best as the Red Sox continue to free fall from their dominant first-half of the season.
Official bets: Tampa Bay Rays (+1.5) vs Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays (EVEN) vs Boston Red Sox