Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays look to take matters into their own hands and climb the AL East standings as they host the Boston Red Sox for game one of their series. The Red Sox are -120 favorites over the Rays with an over/under run total set at 9.
The Tampa Bay Rays are in third place in the National League East but they look to improve on that in a hurry as they play the division leaders. The Rays are 6-4 in their last 10 games, 14-16 at home this season, and four and a half games back in the American League West. As a team Tampa Bay is hitting .245 led by Matt Joyce at .330, Casey Kotchman hitting .342, and Johnny Damon hitting .279. The Rays pitching staff has an ERA of 3.78 with the starters at 3.91 and the bullpen at 3.46. For game one against Boston Tampa Bay starts James Shields who has lost three of his last four decisions. For the season Shields has allowed 77 hits and 30 earned runs while striking out 93 in 94.2 innings of work.
The Boston Red Sox are currently the hottest team in baseball and are all alone in first place in the American League East. The Red Sox have won nine in a row, are 20-13 on the road this season, and are two and a half games ahead of their closest chasers, the New York Yankees. As a team Boston is hitting a baseball best .276 led by Adrian Gonzalez at .341, David Ortiz at .325 with 17 home runs, and Jacoby Ellsbury at .318. As a team the Red Sox pitching staff has an ERA of 4.08 with the starters and the bullpen both at that number as well. For game one in Tampa Bay Boston starts Tim Wakefield who has won his last three decisions. For the season Wakefield has allowed 45 hits and 26 earned runs while striking out 23 in 48.1 innings of work.
Tampa Bay is 5-2 in their last seven games overall, 1-5 in their last six games against a team with a winning record, and 9-3 in Shields’ last 12 starts. Boston is 10-1 in their last 11 against the AL East, 20-6 in their last 26 road games, and 5-15 in Wakefield’s last 20 starts against a team with a winning record. Boston is 1-5 in their last six games in Tampa Bay.
The games in this series have been under four of the last five times these two have met and with Shields it gets to be even more of a trend, one that continues here. Take the under 9 runs in today’s ballgame.