Boston Red Sox (63-49 SU, 57-55 RL, 49-59-4 O/U) vs Tampa Bay Rays (58-55 SU, 57-56 RL, 59-51-3 O/U)
When: 7:10 PM EDT, Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Where: Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida
Lines: Boston -119/ Tampa Bay +109
An important matchup in the American League East this evening as the Boston Red Sox grapple with the Tampa Bay Rays in game two of their brief two-game series at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. The Under is 7-3 the last 10 meetings here in Tampa. Pitching Probables: Boston will send out Rick Porcello (5-14, 4.70 ERA) in this game and the Rays will counter with Jake Odorizzi (6-4, 4.47 ERA).
Red Sox Are Looking To Put Away The Jays
The Boston Red Sox have been hot of late as they came into their game with the rays on Tuesday having won their last six games in a row. Boston now has a 3.0 game lead over the Yankees in the division and a 5.5 game over the Rays. The Red Sox have a shot at really making it tough for the Rays to catch them in the division. Boston just hopes to pay better than their last trip here when they lost three of the four games played and they have now gone just 1-4 the last five between these teams. Boston has been getting great pitching all year, but now their offense is catching up, thanks to the additions of Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez. Boston has averaged 5.80 rpg in their last 10 games. They have great starting pitching, the 2nd best pen in the league and now they have an offense. This is turning into a complete team. Taking the hill for the Red Sox in this one will be Rick Porcello and he has gone 54-14 with a 4.70 ERA in 23 starts on the year, including 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA in his last three starts and 1-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 10 starts on the road. Porcello has gone 20-15 with a 3.92 ERA in 45 games (44 starts) during the month of August and he is 10-7 with a 3.43 ERA in 20 career starts against the Rays, including 5-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts here at Tropicana Field.
The Red Sox have been a solid offensive team so far as they come in ranked 10th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.76 rpg, while also ranking 5th in hitting at .263 and 27th in homers with 116. On the mound, they have been very strong so far as they come in ranked 3rd in the league in ERA at 3.71, while also ranking 4th in WHIP at 1.25.
The Rays Are Looking To Close The Gap In The East
The Red Sox are looking to knock the Rays out of contention in the East, while Tampa Bay is looking to close the gap on Boston. Right now they are 5.5 games out of first in the American League, but that is not their only way of getting into the postseason as they are currently tied with Kansas City for the 2nd wildcard slot in the American League. The Rays have been struggling a bit offense of late but their pitching has remained strong as they have a 1.80 ERA in their last five games prior to Tuesday night. They will need that pitching to stay hot as they take on a hot Boston offense, but they will also need their offense to get back on track and that will not be easy as they will see some good pitching in this series. The Rays have gone 30-25 here at home for the year. Toeing the slab for the Rays will be Jake Odorizzi and he has gone 6-4 with a 4.47 ERA in 18 starts on the year, including 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA in his last three starts and 3-3 with a 4.63 ERA in 10 starts here at home. Odorizzi has gone 7-5 with a 3.75 ERA in 19 starts during the month of August and he is 19-17 with a 3.36 ERA in 61 games (59 starts) here at the Trop in his career, while against the Red Sox in his career he is 3-4 with a 4.68 ERA in 15 starts.
Tampa Bay has been a bit below average on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 21st in the league in scoring, putting up 4.49 rpg, while also ranking 18th in hitting at .251 and 8th in homers with 160. On the mound, they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 9th in the league in ERA at 4.10, while also ranking 10th in WHIP at 1.29.
- 0-9 in Porcello’s last nine starts vs. the American League East
- 0-7 in Porcello’s last seven starts vs. a team with a winning record
Tampa Bay is:
- 5-1 in Odorizzi’s last six Wednesday starts
The Boston Red Sox have been hot of late, while the Rays have played well at home. This is going to a be a very important series for both teams. The Red Sox will send out Rick Porcello, who has not looked anything like the pitcher he was last year when he won the AL Cy Young. Porcello has gone just 1-6 on the road with a 4.05 ERA and he is just 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA at night. Jake Odorizzi hasn’t pitched that great this year and he is just 3-3 with a 4.63 ERA at home, but he normally has pitched well here at home where he has a career 3.36 ERA in this park in his career. The Sox are the better team and they are hotter, but I look for the Rays to cool them off in this one.
Pick: Tampa Bay +109
Both of these starters have struggled this year and have been a bit worse of late and that could make for an exciting game. Both teams really need this game and that could lead to a playoff atmosphere type game, so while it will be exciting, I do not see it being high-scoring. Jake Odorizzi has a 3.36 ERA in this park in his career and Porcello has a 2.82 EA in his last three starts on the road. He does have a 4.05 ERA on the road overall, but those games have averaged just 7.50 rpg. Porcello has allowed three ERs or less in nine of his last 10 starts against the Rays and he has a 2.69 ERA in 10 career starts in this park. Odorizzi has not allowed more than three ERs in nine of his last 10 starts and he has allowed three ERs or less in seven of his last 10 starts against the Sox. I look for the Rays to win a tight low-scoring game.