Rays vs Red Sox Prediction: Boston Gets Home Edge

Boston Opens Four-Game Series as Favorites in Opener

The Tampa Bay Rays visit the Boston Red Sox for four games beginning Monday. Both MLB teams are well back in the division and wild card standings. But there’s plenty of baseball left. The Rays took the road after hosting the Yankees, while Boston remained at home for an extended homestand. The Rays vs Red Sox prediction shows Zach Eflin and Cutter Crawford as the scheduled starters. The Red Sox are -130 and the total is 8.5.

Tampa Bay is No. 12 in team batting but doesn’t have a lot of power. The Rays are No. 23 in the MLB rankings in home runs. As a result, Tampa is No. 21 in runs scored, averaging 4.0 runs per game. Its pitchers haven’t lived up to previous editions. The Rays are No. 23 in team ERA and the bullpen has been especially bad. Solid relief pitching was a staple for the Rays just a few years ago. Now the team has some decent starters but lacks depth.

The Red Sox don’t have to worry about their pitching. Boston leads MLB in team ERA, although the Sox also rely on the starters to carry the load. The bullpen isn’t as bad as Tampa’s, but it’s well behind the starters in terms of stats. They are No. 14 in team batting average and No. 18 in home runs. Boston is scoring 4.3 runs per game, which is about average. The pitching staff has helped keep the team in some games this season.

Rays logo Rays vs Red Sox Red Sox logo

Records: Tampa Bay Rays (20-21), Boston Red Sox (21-19)
Location: Fenway Park in Boston, MA
Day/Time: Streaming: NESN

Monday’s Game

The MLB scoreboard shows Eflin has been extremely inconsistent this season. He’s allowed five or more runs on three occasions and one run or less four times. Tampa Bay is just 3-5 when he starts and 1-3 when he starts on the road. He allowed three runs in five innings in both games against Boston last year.

Crawford is having a solid start to the season, but the Sox aren’t winning with him on the mound. Boston is just 3-5 when he starts, despite Crawford allowing three runs or less in all eight starts this season. The Red Sox are 1-3 when he starts at home.

Both pitchers have thrown better than their records indicate, especially Crawford. Boston has lost three games in which he didn’t allow an earned run. The Rays vs Red Sox prediction likes Crawford, although the odds are a little on the wide side. Tampa Bay had to travel, while the Boston Red Sox schedule has them at home. The Sox get the nod in the opener.

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Tuesday’s Game

Aaron Civale gets the start for the Rays despite his slow start. Tampa Bay is 4-4 when he starts, although his 5.88 ERA isn’t what you expect from Civale. His road ERA is 8.36, although his last start was slightly better than his others.

Nick Pivetta is the scheduled starter for the Red Sox. He missed a little more than a month and was hit hard in his return, allowing three home runs in four innings. Tampa’s lack of power should help keep the long balls down.

The MLB betting odds in this one will likely have this one fairly close to even. Civale is better than he’s shown and Pivetta is coming off a rough start. Let the odds be your guide here and take either team at +115 or better. This one is basically a toss-up.

Wednesday’s Game

Taj Bradley should get the start here after a solid outing against the Yankees. He allowed one run in six innings, but the Rays lost 1-0. That outing could have him a little over-valued in this one. This is still the same pitcher who recorded a 5.59 ERA last year.

Tanner Houck is another pitcher who has deserved better this season. He’s 3-4 with a 2.41 ERA, although his last couple of starts haven’t been all that impressive. He’s another pitcher who could be a bit over-valued based on his season stats.

The Sox are 0-4 in totals at home with Houck on the mound, but there are a few too many question marks. Look to the under if you have to play it. But there are probably better value plays on the schedule.

Thursday’s Game

Zack Littell should get the start for the Rays and he’s pitched well. He’s allowed two runs or less in five of his eight starts, but the Rays are just 4-4 when he starts. His road ERA is 2.35, although Tampa is 1-2 in those games.

Cooper Criswell gets the start for Boston and the Sox are 5-0 when he takes the mound. Criswell’s record is 2-0 and his ERA is 1.93. The only problem here is he hasn’t pitched more than five innings. With no days off in a while, Boston’s bullpen could be a bit worn down.

The Rays vs Red Sox prediction must be Tampa Bay as a decent-priced underdog here. Littell hasn’t pitched badly and has shown he can pitch deeper into a game.

Rays vs Red Sox Odds

For MLB picks, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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