The Boston Red Sox got a break from this brutally tough stretch of their schedule this weekend and took two of three from the Kansas City Royals, but now it’s getting tough again with three games against the 83-54 Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays are 2.5 games back of first in the AL East and salvaged their series finale against the Cleveland Guardians yesterday.
For Game 1 of this three game set, the 71-66 Red Sox will send Brayan Bello to the mound and the Rays will counter with Aaron Civale. Bello is 10-8 with a 3.57 ERA in 23 starts this season and Civale is 7-3 in 18 starts with a 2.64 ERA.
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Now, we can take a look at the odds and I’ll give you my pick.
Red Sox vs. Rays odds, run line and total
Red Sox vs. Rays prediction and pick
The Red Sox have fallen back in the AL Wild Card race with a 5-8 stretch over their last 13 games. They have had a really tough schedule and it won’t exactly be getting easier with this matchup against the Rays who lead the season series 7-1.
Bello has gone against Tampa Bay once this year and he did well allowing just three runs over six innings, but he did take the loss back on June 5. The Rays are a pretty different team than they were back then, and that includes their new starting pitcher Aaron Civale.
Civale has a 3.55 ERA since joining the Rays and has only pitched a pretty modest 25.1 innings in his five starts. That’s far less than his usage in Cleveland and could be a way of preserving his arm for the postseason. Civale has one of the best fastballs in baseball with a 22 run value and his 3.71 xERA is 69th percentile despite his 20% strikeout rate which is nearly bottom quartile.
The Rays have a significant advantage on the mound, they don’t just thave the better starter, they also have a better bullpen behind him.
When a team has won seven of eight against one opponent, I find it really hard to bet against them, so I’ll take Tampa Bay as a slight home favorite.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change