Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Preview: Red-Hot Rays to Continue Rolling Against Pivetta, Red Sox
A month ago, it looked like we could be in for a compelling AL East race down the stretch. Then the Tampa Bay Rays swept the Boston Red Sox at home to take over first place, at the start of a run that has seen them win 22 of their last 28 games. Now the teams face off again at Tropicana Field, with the Red Sox needing a positive showing in this week’s four-game series to maintain their hold on a AL wild-card berth. The Rays, meanwhile, are looking to keep the New York Yankees in the distance, with the Yankees’ recent hot streak keeping MLB betting odds from being overwhelmingly skewed in favor of the Rays.
While the Rays lead the AL East by six games over the Yankees and eight over the Red Sox and therefore have some room for error, the Red Sox have no such room. Even with the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners both having some stumbles last week, the Red Sox are still only 2.5 games ahead of the A’s and 4.5 games ahead of the Mariners for the AL’s second wild-card spot.
That makes each game vital for the Red Sox, who have lost three straight series against the Rays. A strong start from Nick Pivetta could go a long way, but will they get one?
Boston Red Sox (75-57) vs Tampa Bay Rays (82-48), ESPN, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Boston Red Sox: Nick Pivetta (9-6, 4.57 ERA)
- Tampa Bay Rays: Luis Patino (3-3, 4.53 ERA)
Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays MLB Betting Odds
- Boston Red Sox +120
- Tampa Bay Rays -142
- OVER 8.5 (-122)
- UNDER 8.5 (+100)
- Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-170)
- Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+140)
Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Monday, August 30 at 1:25 p.m. ET. Want to see betting odds from several top online sportsbooks for the day’s other MLB matchups? Check out our MLB odds.
Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays MLB Betting Consensus
- 50% Boston Red Sox
- 50% Tampa Bay Rays
- 50% OVER
- 50% UNDER
- 100% Boston Red Sox
- 0% Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays MLB Betting Outlook
Scoring Trend to Continue as Two Top Offenses Meet Again
This is the fifth series between the Rays and Red Sox this season, and if it is like the first four, then plenty of runs should be expected.
Over the 12 games played in the first four series, the winning team has scored at least eight runs eight times, and the combined total has equaled nine or more runs in all but two games.
That plays favorably for the Rays, who are 5-1 at home against the Red Sox this season and are 7-2 against the Red Sox since being swept in three games at Fenway in April. The Rays lead the league with 5.35 runs per game, mostly on the strength of a league-leading 5.76 runs per game on the road. But they are doing their part at the Trop in the second half, which has raised their season average to 4.94 runs per game at home. In 19 home games since the All-Star break, the Rays have scored 116 runs in 19 home games, an average of 6.1 runs per game.
That does not exactly bode well for Pivetta. Pivetta started the season 6-0 in his first ten starts this season. But since then, he is 3-6 with a 5.09 ERA in his last 15 starts. He has failed to pitch at least five innings in five of his last eight starts and has allowed four or more runs in five of his last eight starts as well.
MLB Betting Trends to Consider for Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays
- The under is only 28-36-1 in Boston’s road games this season. However, it is 20-18-0 when the Red Sox are a road underdog, which they are tonight.
- The Rays (72-53-5, 57.6 percent) are one of the league’s top over teams, with only the Minnesota Twins (75-48-7, 61 percent) being part of a higher percentage of overs this season.
- When the Rays have been favored, the over is 45-33-5, a hit rate of 57.7 percent.
- Since losing two of three at Minnesota, the Rays have won 11 of 12. In that span, they have scored 88 runs, an average of 7.33 runs per game. In those dozen games, the Rays have scored seven or more runs nine times.
- During their 22-6 run, the Rays have scored seven or more runs 19 times.
- In Patino’s ten starts this season, nine or more combined runs have been scored eight times.
Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Best Bet
Tampa Bay Rays OVER 4.5 Runs
There is a lot of value in backing the Rays to win tonight, given the run that they are on and Pivetta’s lack of success this month and since his 6-0 start.
But these plays offer better value, based on the head-to-head trends and all of the aforementioned trends involving the Rays. If you are backing the Rays to win, an added sprinkle on their team total is a good move, even if you don’t think the Red Sox will score enough or allow enough to send the game total over.
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