In back-to-back games the Boston Red Sox have taken 7-3 wins, the first came against Kansas City and last night they beat the Tampa Bay Rays. The latter is just a bit more impressive. The Red Sox are now 72-66, 11 games behind the Rays who are second in the AL East.
The Red Sox will go with Kutter Crawford as they try to secure a series victory over Tampa Bay, but it won’t be easy because the Rays will counter with Zach Eflin. Crawford is 6-7 with a 4.08 ERA while Eflin is 13-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 26 starts.
Tampa Bay is favored at home and currently occupies the top Wild Card spot in the American League. I’ll give you my pick for this one, but whichever side you take, you should bet it in the FanDuel Sportsbook and take advantage of this promo.
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Red Sox vs. Rays odds, run line and total
Red Sox vs. Rays prediction and pick
Zach Eflin is the pitcher to back in this matchup. He’s been so solid for Tampa Bay all year long and they’ve really needed it with much of their rotation slowly crumbling around him. Eflin has a 3.07 xERA which is 90th percentile, with a 76th percentile expected batting average of .221. His chase rate is stellar at 33.8% and his walk rate of 3.4% is 98th percentile. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like one of the better pitchers in all of baseball to me.
Eflin has yet to face the Red Sox, but Crawford has faced the Rays. He’s allowed two runs over six innings in two separate appearances, only one was a start. Crawford has found a role as a starter and settled in nicely. He also has a strong xERA of 3.54 and xBA of .218 with a great chase rate and 6.1% walk rate which is 84th percentile. He’s a similar pitcher to Eflin by the numbers, but just a slightly worse version who doesn’t go nearly as deep into starts.
The Boston bullpen will be called on for probably about four innings tonight. In the second half of the season the Boston bullpen has an ERA of 4.92 which ranks 21st in baseball. Josh Lowe had two hits last night for Tampa Bay and over the past week he’s leading this offense with a 1.029 OPS and three steals from the top of the order.
I’m going with the Rays to bounce back and split the first two games of this series.
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