MLB has a bit of scheduling quirk involving the Rays and Red Sox this season. Tampa visited Boston over Patriots’ Day weekend and now has to go back to Beantown for a series starting Friday night even though the Red Sox haven’t visited the Tampa Bay area yet. Before heading to Boston, the Rays will be ending a series against the Kansas City Royals tonight. It currently stands at 1-2. For Boston, they also end a series tonight but it hasn’t gone that well for them. They’re currently 0-2 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Sox will be MLB betting favorites for this one.
Tampa Bay at Boston Pro Baseball Prediction & Betting Preview
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 11, 2017
When: Friday, May 12, 7:10 PM ET
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Probable pitchers (away/home): Alex Cobb/Rick Porcello
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Tampa Bay / Boston
Stream Option: MLB.tv
Opening MLB Lines: Red Sox favored by TBA
Why Bet On Tampa Bay?
The Rays took just one of four games in Boston in mid-April. That victory was 10-5 on April 14. Shane Peterson homered in his first big league at-bat since 2015 and Logan Morrison hit a grand slam, two of the career-high four homers allowed by Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello. Chris Archer gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings, ending his 11-game losing streak against the Red Sox. It was the longest skid by anyone versus Boston since Floyd Bannister dropped 11 straight to the Red Sox from 1982-86. Brad Miller and Steven Souza Jr. also homered for the Rays.
Speaking of Souza, he’s hurting right now and no sure thing for Friday. Rays manager Kevin Cash said that he is hopeful that Souza (thumb) will be available to go. Souza injured his thumb in Monday’s game against the Royals. He sat out on Tuesday and wasn’t in the starting lineup Wednesday.
Catcher Wilson Ramos (knee) is aiming to begin a minor league rehab assignment on May 28. Ramos has been doing catching drills for the past week and told reporters Tuesday that he is “very excited” about the progress he’s made with his surgically-repaired right knee.
It’s Alex Cobb (2-3, 3.56) on the mound for the Rays. Cobb allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in eight innings against the Blue Jays Sunday, but came away with the loss. It was Cobb’s best start since undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2015. It earned him the distinction of being the first Rays pitcher to take the loss in a start of eight innings pitched or more and two runs (or fewer) since David Price on June 20, 2014 against Houston. Cobb agreed that Sunday ranked as his best start since his surgery.
“Yeah, I think that the angle that I’m trying to get on the pitches was there,” Cobb said. “Direction, in and out of the zone with the fastball. Obviously would like the changeup to be there a little bit more. But it did induce some groundballs over the course of the day.”
Why Bet On Boston?
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Pablo Sandoval (knee) could begin a minor league rehab assignment “in the coming days.” “The swelling’s gone,” Farrell said Tuesday. If Sandoval is able to avoid setbacks the third baseman could be ready around mid-May. He has been on the disabled list since April 24 with a right knee sprain. The injury to Sandoval was magnified given the lack of production and rash of injuries the Red Sox have had at third base. Brock Holt and Marco Hernandez are also on the disabled list. Josh Rutledge, who opened the season on the DL, is the latest to get a chance to start at third for Boston.
It’s Porcello on the mound here. Porcello (2-4) allowed one run on seven hits while striking out six across seven innings to earn the win Saturday against the Twins. Porcello had no trouble shutting down the Twins bats while the offense provided him an eight-run second inning to give him an easy victory. After starting somewhat slowly in his first three starts of the season, he has now held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in each of his last five appearances to lower his ERA to 3.95.
Porcello is starting to pitch like he did last year. The righty has a 1.69 ERA in his last four starts, limiting opponents to a .217 average. He is 10-5 with a 3.53 ERA lifetime against the Rays.
Tampa Bay at Boston Pro Baseball Pick: Boston Red Sox
The Sox are 3-1 vs. the Rays this year and Porcello is pitching much better than he did in that one loss.