Game: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
Time: 7:07 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: TBA vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Odds: Red Sox +148, Rays -151
The Tampa Bay Rays find themselves in a unique position. They must win and force a deciding Game 5 in their AL Division Series with Boston. The Red Sox won yesterday in dramatic fashion. The Rays appeared to have taken the lead in the 13th inning on Kevin Kiermaier’s shot that hit the base of the wall in right field. Yandy Diaz had scored from first base, but the hit was ruled a ground-rule double. Boston would then win the game in the bottom of the frame on Christian Vasquez’s walk-off two-run homer.
With all of the momentum, the Red Sox can advance to the ALCS with another win at home tonight. To get that win, they will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound. Rodriguez was the losing pitcher in Game 1 of the series. He pitched just 1.2 innings and gave up two earned runs in the 5-0 Rays victory.
That was Rodriguez’s fifth start against Tampa Bay. It was his second straight bad start. In his previous appearance against Tampa Bay, Rodriguez lasted 3.2 innings but gave up eight hits and six earned runs. The Rays won that game 12-7. Rodriguez did have a quality start in his third trip to the mound against Tampa Bay. He went six innings, allowed four hits and didn’t give up a run.
What may give Red Sox fans some confidence in Rodriguez is the Rays have not announced a starting pitcher just yet. It is likely that the Rays go the bullpen to start the game. The problem for Tampa Bay is that they essentially emptied the bullpen last night in an effort to get the win. It’s a must-win situation, so expect anything from the Rays.
The Rays have had no problem scoring putting up 15 runs in the first three games of the series. They have scored four or more runs in six of their last eight games. The Rays have won eight of their last ten games when they score at least four runs. Wander Franco has been on fire with six hits and two RBI.
The problem for Tampa Bay is that Boston has managed to score 20 runs in the three games thus far. When Boston scores at least four runs, they have won 14 games in a row. Enrique Hernandez has nine hits and five RBI in the series.
Rodriguez has not fared all that well in the postseason in his career. With the Game 1 loss, he is now 0-1 and his ERA is 8.49. The Red Sox have trended to the Over recently. The Over is 4-1 in Boston’s last five games. When the Rays have played on the road recently, the Under has been trending. In Tampa Bay’s last 10 road games, the Under is 6-2-2. The total has also gone Over in four of the last six games played between these two teams.