MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Jul 5, 2022

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Game: Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox

Time: 7:10 p.m. ET

Odds:  Rays +105, Red Sox -125

Total: 9.5

The Rays got shut out by the Red Sox yesterday in the series opener. Tonight, they will try and regroup as they send Jeffrey Springs to the mound against Boston’s Nick Pivetta. The Red Sox have a two-game lead on Tampa Bay in the AL East race. Boston hopes to continue to increase that lead as they face one of their most difficult stretches of the season. They will stay home after this series to take on the division-leading Yankees and then head to Tampa for another series with the Rays.

The Red Sox got the shutout yesterday despite a bullpen game by Boston pitchers. Boston allowed just two hits in the 4-0 victory. Tonight, Pivetta will try and do the same. He has been the Red Sox best pitcher with four straight wins in his last four starts. On top of that, the Red Sox don’t lose much when Pivetta pitches. They have won nine of his last ten starts and he’s allowed more than two runs just twice in that 10-game stretch. Pivetta is 8-5 with a 3.23 ERA. He typically goes deep into games and hasn’t pitched fewer than six innings since early May.

Tampa Bay was coming off of three straight wins over Toronto before yesterday. The Rays had scored 24 runs in those three wins before getting blanked yesterday. They will go with a bullpen game of sorts for them. Jeffrey Springs, a one-time reliever, will start again for Tampa Bay tonight. Springs is 3-2 with a 2.25 ERA. The Rays have been pretty successful in Springs making the transition to a full-time starter. Tampa Bay has won Springs’ last five starts in a row and eight of the 10 that he has made this season.

Springs will face one of the most-feared lineups in baseball. In his last two starts, Springs gave up a total of seven earned runs to Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Neither of those teams is considered an offensive power, but the Red Sox are. Boston is sixth in MLB in scoring averaging 4.73 runs per game. Rafael Devers is arguably the best hitter in baseball. Devers and teammates J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts all hit over .300. Last night, all but one Boston starter had at least one hit. Springs allowed seven hits in each of his last two starts.

Boston is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games and 5-0 SU in its last five at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have owned the Rays too, winning five of the last seven games against their AL East rival.

The total has gone Over in four of Tampa Bay’s last five games. The Red Sox trend Under for the season with a 31-40-9 O/U record for the season. Fenway Park is one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the majors. The Red Sox home ranks second in extra-base hits and third in runs.