Tampa Bays Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
The Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox meet on Friday for game one of their pivotal series at Tropicana Field. The Rays are -115 favorites over the Red Sox with an over/under run total set at 8.5.
The Tampa Bay Rays are in danger of seeing their season slip away as their hopes of winning the A.L. East are vanishing and there is a pileup in the A.L. Wildcard race. The Rays are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 23-19 at home this year, and 7.5 games behind the A.L. East leading Yankees. As a team the Rays are hitting .232 with Elliot Johnson at .275, Ben Zobrist at .249, and B.J. Upton at .248. As a team the Rays pitching staff has an ERA of 3.73 with the starters at 3.80 and the bullpen at 3.59. For game one against Boston Tampa Bay starts Jeremy Hellickson who is struggling badly. For the season Hellickson has allowed 84 hits and 33 earned runs while striking out 56 over 87 innings of work for a 3.41 ERA but he has lost his last five decisions.
The Boston Red Sox look to be in trouble in the standings and they seem to be just a few losses from being totally out of the post season race. The Red Sox are 3-7 in their last 10 games, 21-19 on the road, and they are 9.5 games back in the A.L. East. As a team the Red Sox are hitting .268 with David Ortiz hitting .312, Will Middlebrooks hitting .298, and Adrian Gonzalez hitting .283. As a team the Red Sox pitching staff has an ERA of 4.22 with the starters at 4.81 and the bullpen at 3.13. For game one at the Rays Boston starts Franklin Morales who has worked from the bullpen and as a starter this year. For the season Morales has allowed 41 hits and 18 earned runs while striking out 48 over 46.1 innings of work for a 3.50 ERA.
Tampa Bay is 1-4 in their last five game one of a series, 105 in their last six home games against a left handed starter, and 1-4 in Hellickson’s last five starts. Boston is 1-4 in their last five road games, 1-5 in their last six games following an off day, and 0-5 in their last five game one of a series. Boston is 1-4 in their last five games in Tampa Bay.
Both of these teams have a ton not to like about them these days but in looking for something to grasp onto I’ll take the odds with the slight dog in Boston.
Boston Red Sox +105 Tampa Bay Rays