In the last of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (69-72) and the Boston Red Sox (67-74) at Tropicana Field, Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.59 ERA) and Rich Hill (0-0, 0.00 ERA) take the mound. The Red Sox won the last game 10-4 and the series is currently tied 1-1. The game starts at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sep. 13 and will air on SUN and NESN.
In his most recent outing, Smyly pitched 5.0 innings, giving up four runs, striking out three and walking one in a 5-4 loss to the Tigers. Evan Longoria (.275, 63 Rs, 19 HRs, 68 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. This is the first start of the season for Hill. David Ortiz (.275, 67 Rs, 34 HRs, 95 RBIs) has been hitting the ball well for the Red Sox, going 3 for 4 yesterday with two runs, two home runs, and four RBIs.
Tampa Bay, a -137 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Boston. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the Rays have a 34-32 record and overall money line at -473. They have a 28-29 record SU and are 12-12 as favorite within their division. Over their past 10 games, Tampa Bay's offense has been playing lights out, averaging 5.9 runs per game, well over their season average of 3.9. Transitioning to the pitching staff, the Rays don't give up many hits to opposing batters at Tropicana Field, ranking fifth in the AL with only 8.1 hits allowed per home game.
Switching gears, the Red Sox come into this game with a win percentage of .453 when playing as the underdog (29-35) and an overall money line of -1,134. Against teams in their division, they are 23-34 SU and have played poorly as the underdog with a 12-17 record. During the last 10 games, they averaged 6.1 runs per game, above their 4.6 season average. Playing against AL East foes really brings the worst out of the Boston pitchers. They allow 5.5 runs per game against teams within their division, which is higher than their season average of 4.8.
This game will feature Hill (LHP) on the mound against the Rays, who have a 26-16 record when they take on a left-handed starter. The left-handed Smyly will take the mound against the Red Sox, who have a 17-21 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Over
The Rays hold a 28-30 record this season against teams in the AL East Division. The Red Sox's record in these matchups is 24-34.
The Rays are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded three strikeouts. The Red Sox have a record of 15-5 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Red Sox are 14-62. The Rays have a 13-43 record when opponents outhit them.
Both Tampa Bay and Boston are tied at 13th in home runs, hitting 142 this season.
Ranking 12th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.49 per game. Boston ranks in the top five at second with 9.29.
Ranking 18th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.719). Boston ranks in the top five at fifth with an OPS of .750.
When the Red Sox allow at least one home run, they are 34-60, well-matched with the Rays who are 31-55 when allowing at least one homer.