Steven Wright (13-6, 3.18 ERA) and Drew Smyly (6-11, 4.80 ERA) take the hill in the last of a three-game series between the Boston Red Sox (73-59) and the Tampa Bay Rays (56-75) at Fenway Park. The Rays won the last game 4-3, and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 1:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 31 and can be seen on NESN and SUN.
Wright pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering five runs, striking out one and walking three in a 6-3 defeat to the Royals. Smyly went 6.0 innings, surrendering three runs (one unearned), striking out eight and walking two in a 5-4 defeat to the Astros in his most recent start. Brad Miller (.258, 60 Rs, 25 HRs, 64 RBIs, 6 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
Boston is a -170 favorite against Tampa Bay and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at nine runs. The Red Sox have an overall money line of -288 and a record as the favorite of 55-41. Within its division, Boston has an 18-16 record as favorite and a 27-24 record SU. The Red Sox have no trouble scoring as they lead the AL in offense with 5.4 runs per game. The Red Sox lead the AL in hits with an impressive 10.0 per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, the Red Sox are the fourth-best team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.5 hits per game so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Red Sox, who rank fifth in the AL in strikeouts per game with 8.3.
In the other locker room, Tampa Bay is coming in with an overall money line of -2,637 and a disappointing record of 23-38 as the underdog. They have played poorly as the underdog with a 13-19 record against teams in their division, and a 5-5 record SU.
The Red Sox lead the season series, 8-7. The Red Sox have a 17-14 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Smyly takes the mound. Wright (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a 40-56 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - BOS, O/U - Over
The Red Sox are 27-25 against their divisional rivals, while the Rays are 23-29 against their division.
Tampa Bay has won 40% (24-36) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Boston has won 57% (36-27) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Rays are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 12 strikeouts. The Red Sox have a record of 3-5 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rays are 38-12. The Red Sox have a 64-16 record when outhitting opponents.
Boston ranks at the top of the league when it comes to runs with 714 this season. Tampa Bay ranks near the bottom at 22nd with 549.
Ranking 19th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 379 this season. Boston ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 444.
When the Red Sox hit at least one home run, they are 60-40. When the Rays hit at least one homer, they have a 48-46 record.