Rick Porcello (8-13, 5.16 ERA) and the Boston Red Sox (72-78) go up against Drew Smyly (3-2, 3.64 ERA) and the Tampa Bay Rays (73-78) in the third of a four-game division series at Fenway Park. The Rays won the last game 5-2 and the series is currently tied 1-1. The game gets underway at 7:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sep. 23 and will air on SUN and NESN.
In his last start, Porcello pitched 6.0 innings, allowing five runs (one unearned), striking out four and walking two in a 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays. Dustin Pedroia (.301, 44 Rs, 12 HRs, 42 RBIs, 2 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 3 for 4 with two runs. The Rays were victorious the last time Smyly pitched. He did not do well, pitching 5.2 innings, allowing five runs, striking out six and walking three in an 8-6 victory over the Orioles. Logan Forsythe (.284, 68 Rs, 17 HRs, 65 RBIs, 9 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run.
Boston, a -127 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Tampa Bay. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at nine runs. The Red Sox are 38-39 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -628. They are 6-4 SU and perfect as the favorite (1-0) in their last 10 games.
On the other side, the Rays have a record of 36-41 when they are the underdog and are -984 overall with the money line. Against divisional rivals, they are 31-36 SU and 17-19 as the underdog. Tampa Bay is one of the top road hitting teams in the AL with an average of 9.0 hits per contest.
The Red Sox have gotten the best of the Rays in head-to-head matchups this season, going 9-8. This game will feature Smyly (LHP) on the mound against the Red Sox, who have a 20-21 record when they take on a left-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Rays will be the right-hander Porcello. They sport a 46-58 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - Bos, O/U - Under
The Red Sox are 29-38 against their divisional rivals, while the Rays are 32-36 against their division.
The Red Sox are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Rays have a 28-39 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Red Sox are 15-64. The Rays have a 13-46 record when opponents outhit them.
Boston and Tampa Bay both rank in the top half of the league in home runs. Boston sits at 15th with 149 home runs this season and Tampa Bay ranks 14th with 150.
Ranking 12th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.50 per game. Boston ranks in the top five at second with 9.37.
Ranking 19th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.718). Boston ranks in the top five at fourth with an OPS of .747.
The Rays are 34-58 when they allow at least one home run. The Red Sox perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 37-62 record.