Rays vs Red Sox MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Night.

Rays vs Red Sox MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Night

Written by on August 1, 2019

Doesn’t it feel like the AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox are playing every day? They close out yet another series on Thursday night. The Rays are MLB Betting underdogs because they are almost never favored in Boston.

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Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

Tampa Bay is in need of some offensive pop, so the team made a trade Wednesday, sending pitcher Jake Faria to Milwaukee for first baseman/DH Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar was a force last season with the Brew Crew, tallying 35 home runs and 108 RBI in 149 games alongside a .890 OPS, but he has regressed to the tune of a .694 OPS with only eight home runs and 34 RBI through 94 games in 2019. He should get a chance to play every day in Tampa. Not clear if he will make it to Boston in time to debut Thursday. Faria, who turned 26 on Tuesday, has a 2.70 ERA over seven relief outings this season and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season.

The Rays needed offensive help with third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier both on the injured list. In addition, outfielder Tommy Pham is dealing with a right-hand sprain but is still active.

The Rays haven’t named a starting pitcher because they often don’t and use an opener – probably will be rookie Brendan McKay called up to make the start. He’s started four games this season in the majors, posting a 3.72 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 18 punchouts over 19.1 frames.

Because of injuries, the Rays are essentially down to just two regular starting pitchers in Charlie Morton and Yonny Chirinos. One guy they often used in an opener role was Ryne Stanek, but he’s not available. Stanek has been on the shelf since July 19 with a sore right hip. He did throw a bullpen session recently but isn’t expected to be activated until this weekend at the earlier.

The Rays have pitched to a 4.88 ERA since July 3, 17th in the majors, to increase their ERA from a major-league-best 3.20 to 3.55. They have allowed 8 runs (or more) in eight of 22 games over this stretch, after doing it seven times in their first 86 games. The Rays led the majors in bullpen ERA as late as games through July 3 (3.50), but since then Rays relievers have a 5.09 ERA, which is 25th in the majors over that stretch.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Runs: 4.63
  • Hits: 8.84
  • Walks: 3.33
  • Strike Outs: 9.50
Defense
  • Runs: 3.88
  • Hits: 7.76
  • Walks: 2.91
  • Strike Outs: 9.67

Why Bet on Boston?

The Red Sox and Rays are playing each other 6 times in 11 days (Boston earned a 2-1 series win last Monday-Wednesday). Following this week, these teams will play each other in only 1 more series in 2019 (9/20-23 at Tampa Bay). The Red Sox are in the midst of a stretch in which 21 of 24 games from 7/22-8/14 are against teams with a winning record. The Sox are in the midst of a stretch of 21 consecutive games against AL East teams.

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have combined for more doubles (72), RBI (163), XBH (119), and hits (266) than any other pair of MLB teammates in 2019. Rafael Devers joins Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich as the only players batting .320+ with 20+ HR and 75+ RBI this season. Devers had 0 HR, 3 RBI, and 5 XBH through 4/23. Since then, he leads the majors in RBI (79), doubles (31), XBH (55), and hits (117). Overall, Devers leads MLB in hits (138).

Rays vs Red Sox MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Night.

It’s recent new addition Andrew Cashner for the Red Sox. Cashner got his first win for Boston in his last start, holding the Yankees to three runs over 6 2/3 innings. It helped he was staked to a 7-0 lead through four innings behind three home runs from Mookie Betts.

“Once you get the lead, you just want to throw more strikes than anything and not nibble,” Cashner said. “I thought my breaking ball got better as the game went on. I thought I just kept them off-balance really well.”

While he didn’t pitch all that much better than he did in his first two starts since the trade from Baltimore, this victory was his first for the Red Sox since joining the club right after the All-Star break. Cashner owns a 4.18 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 81 strikeouts in 114 innings this season. The righty is 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA in five career starts against the Rays. Cashner is holding opponents to a .251 average this season.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Runs: 5.84
  • Hits: 9.91
  • Walks: 3.76
  • Strike Outs: 8.38
Defense
  • Runs: 5.12
  • Hits: 8.83
  • Walks: 3.46
  • Strike Outs: 10.16

Rays vs Red Sox MLB Betting Trends

  • Rays are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record
  • Red Sox are 24-9 in their last 33 Thursday games
  • Under is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings in Boston
  • Rays are 8-1 SU in their last 9 games when playing on the road against Boston
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games on the road
  • Red Sox are 13-7 SU in their last 20 games against an opponent in the American League
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Boston’s last 6 games at home

Expert Prediction

Tampa Bay Rays 3 – Boston Red Sox 6

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