The Red Sox and Rays come into this Friday evening matchup at opposite ends of the spectrum. The normally dominant Sox have had an abysmal start to the season, coming in at 6-13 and having dropped their last two games against the Yankees. The Rays, on the other hand, come in red hot and lead the AL East with a record of 14-5.
This will be the first faceoff between the two clubs this season. Historically speaking, Boston has been much more successful than the Tampa Bay Rays when the two teams play, but this season could prove to be different. For starters, the Rays pitching has been simply lights out. And that extends beyond ace Blake Snell. The team as a whole has the best ERA in the majors by more than 0.30 and shows no sign of slowing down. Even more impressive than Snell has been 25-year-old Tyler Glasnow. At the moment he is 4-0 with an ERA of 1.13: absolutely dominant.
While they aren’t quite as strong on the offensive side, they still get on base and score runs. In fact, they have the third highest team average in the majors. The offensive charge has been led by center fielder Austin Meadows who is currently batting .349 with 6 home runs and 17 RBIs.
For the Sox, the offense hasn’t been all too bad. JD Martinez has been one of the few players who has lived up to the expectations he set himself last season. He is batting just over .350 and has been getting on base consistently every game. Xander Bogaerts has also been turning heads as he is hitting just under .300 but has been showing improvement of late. That’s about it though, most of the other players are struggling offensively, including Betts who is batting a mere .200.
On the pitching side, it can’t get much worse for the Sox. More than 75% of the starts have been poor, and the bullpen hasn’t been able to keep it together of late. Cora needs to take desperate measures to turn things around.
TV/Radio: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, 4/19/19 7:10 PM ET, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida. TV: Red Sox on NESN, Rays on Fox Sports Sun, Radio: Red Sox on WEEI 93.7 WCCM 1490 AM, Rays on WDAE 620 AM/95.3 FM, WGES 680
Red Sox Starting Lineup
Red Sox Analysis
What started as a “poor start” to the season is slowly turning into a hot mess. Game after game, the Red Sox pitch awfully, make errors, or can’t hit. And many fans would agree that their 6-13 record is a compliment to the way they’ve been playing.
Let’s look at their last one against the Yankees. Nathan Eovaldi finally turned in a solid start, giving up just one run over 6 strong innings. Things were looking up as the Sox led 3-1 heading into the bottom of the 7thinning. However, the bullpen blew it, as Ryan Brasier surrendered a grand slam to Yanks veteran outfielder Brett Gardner. And that’s how the game ended: an unnecessary 5-3 Yankees win.
The Sox will be sending Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound tonight to try and tame Tampa Bay. He turned in a good start last time, giving up just 2 runs over 6 and 2/3 innings while striking out 8. Throughout his career, he is 17-15 against the Rays with an ERA of 4.14. He will be starting in a game that the Sox desperately need to win. But it won’t be easy given that their opponent is the hottest team in the American League.
Rays Starting Lineup
Wow. That is all that can really be said about the Rays thus far this season. They have been turning in solid games consistently, even the ones they seem to lose.
They come into tonight’s game having lost last night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles 6-5. Austin Meadows turned in a good game, as usual, going 2 for 3 but even more impressive was Tommy Pham who went 4 for 5 with 2 RBIs. Hunter Wood went two innings without giving up any runs. Jalen Beeks then proceeded to give up 3 runs over 3 innings and Adam Kolarek and Emilio Pagan gave up a run apiece. However, the loss was dealt to Diego Castillo who surrendered the Orioles winning run in the 11thinning.
The Rays still have not assigned a pitcher for the game (likely Charlie Morton who is 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA) but that shouldn’t be an issue. As mentioned previously, the Tampa Bay pitching has been stellar. The Rays offense, on the other hand, will look to explode early and knocked out Sox starter Rodriguez.
Red Sox vs Rays Betting Odds
Surprisingly, the pick in this game seems to be relatively up in the air. The Red Sox have obviously been struggling of late, but they had the day off yesterday and will be revamped and ready to take another shot at reviving their season. The Rays on the other hand are red hot but will be tired after losing an extra inning game last night. Rodriguez is coming off of a good outing and should be looking to turn in something similar against Meadows and the Rays’ offense. Either way, this should be a close one, but my pick is the Red Sox.
Odds & Line Movement Links
Bet on Matchup
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