Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
First place and last place in the American League East face off as the Tampa Bay Rays meet on Wednesday at Tropicana Field. The Rays are -145 favorites over the Red Sox with an over/under run total set at 8.5.
The Tampa Bay Rays have won three games in a row and now return home for game one of a quick two game series against the Red Sox. The Rays are 4-6 in their last 10 games, 13-3 at home this season, and they are tied for first place in the A.L. East with the Orioles. As a team the Rays are hitting .245 with Matt Joyce hitting .282, Desmond Jennings hitting .265, and Sean Rodriguez hitting .239. As a team the Rays pitching staff has an ERA of 3.75 with the starters at 3.59 and the bullpen at 4.08. For game one against Boston Tampa Bay starts Jeremy Hellickson who is unbeaten this season. For the year Hellickson has allowed 37 hits and 14 earned runs while striking out 29 over 42.2 innings of work for a 2.95 ERA.
The Boston Red Sox are winning more often than they were at the start of the year but they aren’t playing at the level that is expected of them as an organization. The Red Sox have won five games in a row, are 8-8 on the road, and are in last place in the A.L. East, 5.5 games behind the leaders. As a team the Red Sox are hitting .276 with David Ortiz at .353, Ryan Sweeney at .319, Dustin Pedroia at .311, and Adrian Gonzalez at .287. On the mound the Red Sox pitching staff has an ERA of 4.76 with the starters at 5.28 and the bullpen at 3.86. For game one against the Rays Boston starts Clay Buchholz who has won his last three decisions despite giving up runs in bunches. For the year Buchholz has allowed 55 hits and 36 earned runs while striking out 20 over 39 innings of work for an 8.31 ERA.
Tampa Bay is 37-14 in their last 51 home games, 16-7 in their last 23 games overall, and 10-3 in Hellickson’s last 13 home starts. Boston is 5-1 in their last six road games against a right handed starter, 9-24 in their last 33 games against the A.L. East, and 7-2 in Buchholz’s last nine starts as an underdog. Boston is 6-2 in Buchholz’s last eight starts against the Rays.
Both of these teams can come up with runs and hits and I have this one coming in over the total.