Tampa Bay vs Boston 2022 MLB Expert Analysis

Tampa Bay vs Boston | MLB Odds Favorites to Win

Written by on July 6, 2022

One of the Boston Red Sox’s top pitching prospects will make his MLB debut on Wednesday night as the Sox host the AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays. Boston is a short favorite on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Rays at Red Sox MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

Catcher Francisco Mejia was out of the lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox. Though Mejia sat for the fourth time in six games, it’s unclear if Rene Pinto has truly supplanted him on the depth chart at catcher. Just four days ago, Mejia supplied two home runs in a win over the Blue Jays, so the Rays likely won’t completely pull the plug on him.

The Rays are 15-14 in 1-run games this year, including 5-8 in 1-run games since June 4 and 7-11 since May 8. The 29 1-run games rank 3rd in the majors, one shy of the Blue Jays (30) and Marlins (30). The Rays are 7-3 in extra-inning games after going 7-12 in them last season. The 10 extra-inning games are tied for 3rd in the majors.

Tampa Bay is 34-8 when scoring 4 runs (or more) and 26-5 when scoring 5 runs (or more), compared to 9-29 when scoring 3 runs (or fewer). The Rays are 33-11 when scoring first and 10-26 when their opponent scores first. The Rays are 35-8 when they outhit their opponent and 7-26 when recording fewer hits than their opponent.

The Rays have allowed 48 unearned runs this season, 2nd in the majors behind the White Sox (53) and 3rd in franchise history before the All-Star break behind 2001 (70) and 1999 (70). The Rays are 30-17 in errorless games; 13-20 when making one.

It’s Corey Kluber (3-5, 3.91 ERA) on the mound Wednesday. Kluber struggled in a losing effort against the Blue Jays last Friday, surrendering five runs on seven hits over three innings. The 36-year-old also issued a pair of walks while striking out only one batter. After firing a pair of scoreless innings to start the game, Kluber’s day collapsed on him in the third inning as the Jays got run-scoring doubles from Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez and Alejandro Kirk to push five runs across. He got just six swings and misses on 49 pitches in the game, registering a CSW of 27 percent. Kluber had pitched to a 2.54 ERA (28.1-IP, 8-ER) in his previous 5 starts.

Kluber is 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA (68-IP, 35-ER) in 12 career apps (11 starts) against the Red Sox, including 2-1 with a 4.02 ERA (31.1-IP, 14-ER) in 5 starts at Fenway Park. He last faced them on April 22 at Tropicana Field, taking the loss after allowing 4 runs in 5 IP.

Why Bet on Boston?

All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers didn’t start Tuesday’s game vs. Tampa but it was simply for rest – he had started 10 consecutive contests. The 25-year-old is hitting .327/.383/.579 with a major league-leading 104 hits, including 27 doubles and 17 home runs. Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts got Monday off with a minor thigh injury but was back in there Tuesday.

Versatile Kiki Hernandez took part in baserunning work and picked up at-bats in batting practice Tuesday. Hernandez’s ability to run the bases may be the final hurdle he needs to clear in his recovery from a right hip strain before the Red Sox send him out on a minor-league rehab assignment later this week. Once he’s reinstated from the 15-day injured list, Hernandez should take over as Boston’s everyday center fielder, with Jarren Duran moving into a bench role as a result.

No. 1 pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (back) threw a live batting practice session on Tuesday at Fenway Park. Eovaldi has finally progressed to facing hitters and appears to be nearing a brief minor league rehab assignment. He reportedly topped out at 96 mph and was sitting in the 94-95 mph range with his fastball during the session. The 32-year-old has been out since early June due to a hip and lower back issue. He’s trending towards a return to the Red Sox’s starting rotation sometime in mid-July.

It’s top pitching prospect Brayan Bello making his MLB debut on Wednesday. He opened the season as Boston’s No. 5 prospect and has rocketed into Baseball America’s top 50 with a tremendous campaign. Bello has flown mostly under the radar since signing out of the Dominican Republic for just $28,000 in 2017, when he weighed about 130 pounds.

The 23-year-old has been excellent this season with a 2.33 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 114/33 K/BB ratio across 85 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. It’s not clear at this point how many starts he might receive but the Sox are very thin in the rotation right now due to injury to Eovaldi and others. Bello will become the third player to make a big-league debut for the Red Sox this season, joining infielder Jeter Downs and righty Josh Winckowski.

Game Trends

  • Rays are 8-3 in their last 11 Wednesday games.
  • Rays are 15-6 in their last 21 during game 3 of a series.
  • Red Sox are 5-0 in their last 5 during game 3 of a series.
  • Rays are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings.
  • Over is 16-5-1 in the last 22 meetings in Boston.

Expert Prediction

  • Red Sox 4, Rays 3

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