The Boston Red Sox have been dominated by the Tampa Bay Rays this season so the Sox probably are glad to be finished with the Rays – barring a playoff matchup – following Thursday’s game in Florida. Tampa Bay is a solid favorite on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Red Sox at Rays MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Tropicana Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Eduardo Rodriguez/Shane McClanahan
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Rays -150, Red Sox +135 (total 8)
Why Bet on Boston?
The Red Sox are in the midst of a mini-COVID outbreak with All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts the latest to land on the COVID list. Bogaerts hit an RBI single in the first inning Tuesday at Tampa Bay but left before the start of the bottom of the second when it was revealed he had tested positive. The 28-year-old Bogaerts, an All-Star for the third time this season, leads the team in average (.297), hits (136) and on-base percentage (.365).
“Bogey is such a consistent presence,” said Kyle Schwarber. “He’s the most tenured guy here, correct? He’s been around here and he’s been through multiple postseason pushes, multiple World Series championships. We’ll definitely miss his presence. We’re all going to have to step up [while he’s out] and all the guys that are down right now. We’ve got to do it.”
Before Tuesday’s game, the club announced that reliever Hirokazu Sawamura had tested positive for the virus. Sawamura and reliever Josh Taylor were placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. Left-hander Martín Pérez and right-hander Matt Barnes were added to the COVID-19 injured list before Monday’s loss to the Rays. Last week, utilityman Kike Hernandez and infielder Christian Arroyo landed on the list. To date, at least nine members of the team (couple coaches) have confirmed cases of coronavirus. The team will now be wearing masks in the dugout as a result of the potential outbreak.
It’s lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (10-7) on the mound. Rodriguez surrendered three runs over seven innings last Friday in a victory over the Indians. It was his longest outing since April, as the Red Sox only took the lead in the top of the eighth. Rodriguez won despite giving up two homers and striking out just two.
Rodriguez was 3-1 with a 3.33 ERA (10 ER/27.0 IP) over 5 August starts. He has allowed 3 R or fewer in 4 of his last 5 starts and 8 of his last 11. Among AL pitchers with at least 100.0+ IP, he ranks 7th in SO/9.0 IP (10.66). Rodriguez is on pace for career bests in SO% (27.5), SO/BB (3.95), and FIP (3.49).
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?The Rays have absolutely dominated the AL East this season and are running away with the division. Tampa Bay won 21 games in August. The Rays, who went 22-6 in May, are the first team since the 2002 “Moneyball” A’s to have two calendar months with at least 21 wins in the same season. Those two months rank among the three best in club history, by winning percentage, and they’re on pace to break the franchise record of 97 wins set during their breakthrough 2008 season.
Tampa has led the division for 33 straight days while owning the AL’s best record for 27 days in a row. The Rays have scored at least eight runs in 18 of 36 games since veteran DH Nelson Cruz arrived on July 23. Tampa Bay hasn’t had a player finish with at least 100 RBIs since 2010, when Evan Longoria did it for the second straight season. But Austin Meadows is poised to join Longoria and the four other Rays who from 1999-2008 combined for 10 triple-digit seasons of RBIs. Meadows has a team-leading .319 average with runners in scoring position (compared to .234 overall).
“If a pitcher makes a good pitch with two strikes or something like that, not wasting those opportunities to get those runs in,” Meadows said. “Just try to put the bat on the ball and have a good at-bat.
On Wednesday, the Rays added veteran reliever David Robertson to the roster as those expand starting Sept. 1. While it has been almost three years since Robertson was healthy, he was one of the league’s most and productive relievers for much of his tenures with the Yankees and White Sox. The 36-year-old owns a 2.90 ERA over 663 2/3 big league innings, and he tossed 60+ innings with a sub-4.00 ERA in every season from 2010-18.
It’s lefty Shane McClanahan (9-4) on the mound here. McClanahan pitched six innings of two-run ball to beat the Orioles for his fifth straight win last Friday. Three of those wins have come against Baltimore. He’s picked up wins in six of his seven starts since the All-Star break and has posted a 2.90 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 40.1 innings during that time. Overall, he has a 3.59 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 100 1/3 innings.
McClanahan has added a slider to his arsenal and it’s paying off. Delivered at an average velocity of 89.5 MPH — fourth highest among hurlers with 60-plus frames — McClanahan is throwing his new pitch a healthy 35.4% of the time.
- Red Sox are 4-10 in their last 14 games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Red Sox are 1-9 in their last 10 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Rays are 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Rays are 10-1 in their last 11 Thursday games.
- Red Sox are 9-23 in the last 32 meetings.
- Rays 5, Red Sox 2
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