Aided by a little league home run, the Rays took game three of the series over the Red Sox on Sunday. It was another solid outing for Taj Bradley as he picked up his fourth win of the year, and the bullpen pitched four scoreless innings to get the win. On the other side, Tanner Houck gave up four runs in five innings, it was the third time in four games that Houck has given up four runs in a start. Corey Kluber came out of the bullpen for the second time in the series but without as much success in this showing. He gave up two runs in two innings of work yesterday. The Rays are now 6-1 over their division rivals on the season, with the Red Sox only winning the first game of the Saturday doubleheader.
Here are the Rays-Red Sox MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Rays-Red Sox Odds
Tampa Bay Rays: -1.5 (+102)
Boston Red Sox: +1.5 (-122)
Over: 9 (-104)
How To Watch Rays vs. Red Sox
Time: 4:05 PM ET/ 1:05 PM PT
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Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
In the process of winning two of the last three of the Red Sox, the Rays have seen plenty of their players go down with injuries. First, they lost Wander Franco in the doubleheader, and then Brandon Lowe was scratched before the game yesterday. Those two injuries also coincide with Manuel Margot being banged up after crashing into the Green Monster on Saturday. Still, this is the best team in baseball. The Rays are sitting at 42-19 on the season, and have won six of their last ten ballgames. The offense has been spectacular all year. They sit second in runs scored, batting average, and on-base percentage. The Rays lead the league in slugging percentage and home runs.
Leading that offense has been Yandy Diaz. Diaz has the second best OPS in the majors and the seventh-best batting average in all of baseball. He has been having a great series against the Red Sox as well. He is five for 15 at the plate, scoring four RBIs, two doubles, and two runs. Joining Diaz in having a solid series is Harold Ramirez. He is five for 11 on the series with four RBIs and a walk. After slumping slightly towards the end of May, having just four RBIs in his last ten games of the month, Ramirez has found his groove against the Red Sox in this series.
Beyond the offense, the Rays' pitching has also been solid. The team ERA and team WHIP are both sixth in the majors, while the opponent's batting average is sitting third in the majors. Shane McClanahan heads to the mound today for the Rays. McClanahan has been solid in his last six starts. In May he went 35.2 innings in those six starts while giving up eight runs and winning three games. His last time out he gave up two runs, but with only one run of support, he took his first loss of the year.
Why The Red Sox Could Cover The Spread
While the Rays have had a great offense this year, the same could be said about the Red Sox. This year, they are top five in Slugging, runs, batting average, and on-base percentage. The offense has not been enough for the as of late. They have lost nine of their last 13 games and had some struggled offensively. In that time they have scored two or fewer runs seven times, picking up just one win in those games.
The offense has been paced by Masataka Yoshida. He is hitting .351 since the start of May and sits fifth in the majors with a .318 batting average for the year. While Yoshida is not driving in a lot of runs, he is scoring a fair amount. Since the start of May, he has scored 18 times, including three times in the last four games. Driving in the runs has been Rafael Devers. Devers is currently third in the majors in RBIs with 49. After driving in 20 runs in May, Devers has struggled a little in this series. He has driven in just one run, while not recording a hit in the series.
While the offense has been good, the Red Sox's pitching has struggled, and it is becoming clear that if the Red Sox want to make a run to the postseason, they may need to look at acquiring some pitching. Brayan Bello is one of the pitchers who has not been stellar this year. He is 3-3 on the year with a 3.89 ERA. Still, his last five starts have been good. He has a 2.67 ERA in his last five starts but took two losses as he was unable to get run support. He has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last five starts and will be looking to keep the solid work going.
Final Rays-Red Sox Prediction & Pick
Both offenses in this game are capable of scoring plenty of runs. The Rays' offense is slightly better, but that is not to say the Red Sox do not have a stellar offense as well. The difference in this one is the starting pitching and the bullpen. McClanahan could be on his way to winning a Cy Young. McClanahan may need to go deep into this game though. The Rays are 22nd in bullpen ERA this year, while the Red Sox sit 11th. This should be a tight game. McClanahan has received three or fewer runs of support in three of his last five starts. If that happens again today, the Red Sox will walk away with a win. Regardless, it is hard to pick against McClanahan who has seen his team win 10 of his 12 starts while coving 1.5 runs in nine of them.
Final Rays-Red Sox Prediction & Pick: Rays -1.5 (+102)