Matt Moore (1-3, 8.04 ERA) and Rick Porcello (7-12, 5.12 ERA) are on the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (68-71) and the Boston Red Sox (66-73) at Tropicana Field. The Rays won the last game 8-4 and Tampa Bay leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 6:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sep. 12 and can be seen on SUN and NESN.
Moore pitched 4.2 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out three and walking two in a 3-2 defeat to the Yankees. Steven Souza Jr. (.218, 48 Rs, 15 HRs, 35 RBIs, 11 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one RBI, and one stolen base. Porcello went 7.1 innings, surrendering three runs (one unearned), striking out four and walking two in an 11-4 win over the Blue Jays in his last outing. David Ortiz (.271, 65 Rs, 32 HRs, 91 RBIs) has been successful at the plate for the Red Sox, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
Tampa Bay is a -123 favorite against Boston and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Rays have an overall money line of -573 and a record as the favorite of 33-32. Within its division, Tampa Bay has an 11-12 record as favorite and a 27-29 record SU. The Rays have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.4 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 3.8 runs per game. As for the pitchers, the Rays are the fifth-best team in the AL at limiting hits during home games, allowing only 8.1 hits per game to their opponents this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Boston has a 29-34 record and an overall money line of -1,034. They have played poorly as the underdog with a 12-16 record against teams in their division, and a 6-4 record SU. Offensively, the Red Sox have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.7 runs per game by averaging 6.1 during that stretch. The Red Sox allow 4.8 runs per game, but does worse whenever another team from the AL East Division is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average up to 5.4 against division foes.
The Rays lead the season series, 7-6. The Rays have a 43-55 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Porcello takes the mound. Moore (LHP) will be on the hill against the Red Sox, who have a 17-21 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Over
The Rays hold a 28-29 record this season against teams in the AL East Division. The Red Sox's record in these matchups is 23-34.
The Rays managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Red Sox who are coming in with a 19-13 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Red Sox are 14-62. The Rays have a 13-42 record when opponents outhit them.
Boston ranks in the bottom half of the league at 16th when it comes to home runs, hitting 137 this season. Tampa Bay ranks in the top half at 14th with 140.
Ranking 12th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.47 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 10 at sixth with an OPS of .747.
The Red Sox are 33-60 when they allow at least one home run. The Rays perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 31-54 record.