Alex Colome (3-3, 4.50 ERA) and Rick Porcello (4-8, 5.61 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (41-33) and the Boston Red Sox (32-42) at Tropicana Field. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 26 and can be seen on NESN and SunSports.
Colome pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering zero runs, striking out four and walking two in a 1-0 defeat to the Indians. Logan Forsythe (.292, 28 Rs, 8 HRs, 32 RBIs, 7 SBs) went 1 for 4 Wednesday. When pitching against the Rays, Porcello is 4-3 with a 2.80 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 36 strikeouts. Hanley Ramirez (.283, 41 Rs, 15 HRs, 38 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Red Sox, going 2 for 2 yesterday.
Tampa Bay is a -133 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 +799 and a record as the favorite of 20-16. Within its division, Tampa Bay has an 8-8 record as favorite and a 19-16 record SU. Tampa Bay is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 55 bases. Crossing over to the pitching staff, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Rays, who have a team ERA of only 3.27. The Rays are the fourth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.20 so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Boston has a 11-14 record and an overall money line of -1,665. They have played poorly as the underdog with a 4-8 record against AL East opponents, and a 5-5 record SU. Offensively, the Red Sox have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.1 runs per game by averaging 5.6 during that stretch. Boston is excellent at drawing walks with 3.4 per road game, ranking second in the AL. The Red Sox allow 4.7 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 5.6 against division foes.
The Rays lead the season series, 4-2. The Rays have a 27-25 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Porcello takes the mound. Colome (RHP) will be on the hill against the Red Sox, who have a 24-30 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Over
The Red Sox are struggling at 11-23 in their division, while the Rays sit at 19-16.
Boston has won 45% (15-18) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Tampa Bay has won 54% (15-13) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Rays are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Red Sox have a 5-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Red Sox are 5-35. The Rays have a 7-22 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling in the top half of the league based on total home runs this season, Tampa Bay ranks 14th with 67 homers and Boston is 13th with 70.
Ranking 11th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.16 per game. Boston ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.75.
Ranking 19th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.694). Boston ranks in the top half at 15th with an OPS of .719.
The Red Sox are 12-33 when they allow at least one home run. The Rays perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 16-24 record.