MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Jun 2, 2023

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Game: Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Odds: Rays +129, Red Sox -119

Total: 9

When they begin a four-game series against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays tonight, the Boston Red Sox will be up against the most dominant team in baseball. The Rays have the most home runs of any major league team entering the weekend with 103, seven more than the second-place Dodgers. Tampa Bay has already swept a four-game home series against Boston earlier this season.

Red Sox supporters shouldn’t only be concerned about Tampa Bay’s power. By defeating the Cincinnati Reds 8-2 on Thursday, Boston snapped a three-game losing streak, though it may have lost left-hander Chris Sale in the process. With left shoulder pain, Sale left the mound in the fourth inning.

The Rays just defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Wednesday. It would have been Tampa Bay’s first three-game losing streak of the season if they had lost. Brandon Lowe’s two-run homer in the seventh inning tied the game. Then, Jose Siri’s two-run home run in the eighth inning erased Chicago’s 3-2 lead.

In the first two games against the Cubs, Tampa Bay’s offense hardly did anything. The Rays lost 2-1 on Tuesday after being shut out 1-0 on one hit on Monday. Through the first six innings of Wednesday’s victory, Tampa Bay had just one hit. Lowe’s home run changed that. Five Rays players now have at least 10 home runs. Yandy Diaz leads the team with 12.

The Rays’ outstanding offense is further enhanced by the fact that they are the major league leaders with 77 stolen bases. Tampa Bay has been caught stealing 16 times this season.

On Friday, the Boston pitcher Garrett Whitlock (2-2, 5.14 ERA) will try to contain the Tampa Bay bats. The right-hander has seven career appearances (two starts) against the Rays. He is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 17 innings, and has given up nine earned runs.

The pitcher for Tampa Bay is expected to be right-hander Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 6.23). In Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Dodgers, Glasnow, who missed the first few weeks of the season due to a strained oblique muscle, made his season debut. In 4.1 innings, he gave up three earned runs on five hits. He recorded eight strikeouts and one walk. In eight starts against the Red Sox in his career, Glasnow is 2-1 with a 3.83 ERA.

Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in the last five games against Boston, having swept that four-game series earlier this season. The Rays have not had much success at Fenway Park recently. They are just 1-5 SU in their last six trips to Beantown.

Boston has won just three times in its last ten games. They have been playing well against teams in their division. In their last six games against the AL East, the Red Sox are 5-1. Boston is currently last in the division with a 29-27 record. They are 10 games behind the division-leading Rays who are 40-18. That is the best record in MLB right now.

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