Red Sox at Rays Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/14/2013
The Boston Red Sox will look to get back to their winning ways this week in a AL East matchup against the rival Tampa Bay Rays starting this Tuesday night with Game 1 of a three-game series. The first pitch from Tropicana Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on MLB Extra Innings.
Boston was on a roll through the month of April, but after winning the first two games of May, it has fallen to 2-8 in its last 10 outings. The Red Sox dropped two of three games to Toronto this past weekend as heavy home favorites to drop two games behind New York in the division standings at 22-16.
The Rays have reeled off five straight victories to climb over .500 at 19-18, and they are within 4.5 games of the division lead. Last week they split a four-game set with the Blue Jays before beating San Diego three times this past weekend. The total stayed “under” in Sunday’s 4-2 win on a closing line of 8.5 after going “over” in Tampa Bay’s last 14 games.
Red Sox at Rays Betting Storylines
Boston’s pitching staff has gotten rocked around pretty good during its recent slide. It was pounded for 12 runs in Sunday’s finale against the Blue Jays, and the team has now allowed four or more runs in eight of its last 10 games. It could be more of the same against a potent Tampa Bay lineup, so look to guys like Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava lead the way with some fireworks of their own at the plate. These two have combined to knock in 57 of the Red Sox’s 181 total runs scored so far.
John Lackey is slated to be on the mound for Boston on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 1-3 this season but sporting a respectable 2.82 ERA in four previous starts. He has allowed a total of seven earned runs in just over 22 innings of work. Last time out, Lackey got tagged with a loss despite giving up just one earned run on six hits through seven full innings. Lifetime against the Rays, he is 12-6 with a 4.09 ERA.
Pitching has not been Tampa Bay’s strong suit this season with a team ERA of 4.15 that is ranked 10th in the American League. Lately it has been letting its bats do most of the talking. The Rays have scored an average of 4.73 runs through their first 37 games, but the production has been dialed up with a total of 33 runs during their current winning streak. Tampa Bay has four players with 19 or more RBI so far led by Evan Longoria’s 26. He also has nine home runs as part of his team-high 47 hits.
The Rays will send Matt Moore to the mound for this series opener. He picked up his sixth victory of the season in this past Wednesday by holding Toronto to two runs through five innings. It was his seventh start of the year and the left-hander comes into this matchup with an overall ERA of just 2.17. Against Boston, he is 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA.
Red Sox at Rays MLB Betting Odds and Trends
The Red Sox are 10-2 in the first game of their last 12 series but 2-5 in their last seven games following a loss. The total has stayed under in their last four games on the road.
The Rays are 20-7 in their last 27 home games and 9-0 in Moore’s last nine starts. The total has gone over in 11 of their last 16 games against a right-handed starter.
Head-to-head in this AL East rivalry, the home team has won five of the last seven meetings, including a three-game sweep by Boston at home in mid-April of this year. The total has stayed under in the last five games.
Red Sox at Rays Picks and Betting Predictions
Boston finds itself in a tough position to try and turn things back around. It is facing a starter that has been in the zone from Day 1 of the 2013 season and a team that has been hitting the ball all over the park lately. Look for Moore to keep Boston in check long enough for the Rays to build a lead they will not relinquish.
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