In the last of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (7-8) and the Boston Red Sox (7-8) at Tropicana Field, Jake Odorizzi (2-1, 1.74 ERA) and Clay Buchholz (1-2, 6.06 ERA) get the start. The Rays won the last game 7-5 and the series is currently tied 1-1. The game gets underway at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Apr. 23 and will air on NESN and SunSports.
Odorizzi is 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA against the Red Sox in his career, and faces a less-than-stellar Boston offense that's hitting just .238 on the year. Steven Souza Jr. (.288, 6 Rs, 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, 4 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. In his pitching opportunities against the Rays, Buchholz is 8-6 with a 2.45 ERA. He meets a struggling Tampa Bay offense that's batting just .231. Dustin Pedroia (.271, 8 Rs, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs) has been doing well, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
Tampa Bay is a +107 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. When playing as the underdog, the Rays have a 5-4 record and overall money line at -170. They are 5-2 as the underdog over their last 10 games. Tampa Bay has averaged 2.9 runs per game during divisional play, lower than its season average of 3.6. The Rays are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 13 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Turning to the pitching staff, an area where the Rays are particularly strong at home is striking batters out, where they average an AL-best 9.4 K's per home game.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Red Sox come into this game with a win percentage of .556 when playing as the favorite (5-4) and an overall money line of +277. Against divisional opponents, they are 5-3 SU and 2-2 as the favorite. The Red Sox seem to play worse against their division opponents. In divisional matchups, Boston has averaged 4.1 runs per game, compared to 5.1 for the duration of the season. Boston has an eye for the strike zone, averaging an AL-best 4.5 walks per game. The Red Sox are a problem for opposing batters, sporting a 3.42 ERA on the road this season. The Boston pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging 8.4 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Buchholz (RHP) on the mound against the Rays, who have a 5-5 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Odorizzi will take the mound against the Red Sox, who have a 7-4 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - BOS, O/U - Over
The Rays are 5-7 against their divisional rivals, while the Red Sox are 5-4 against their division.
When the Red Sox play into extra innings, they have a 1-0 record. The Rays are 0-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Red Sox are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 10 strikeouts. The Rays have a record of 2-3 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rays are 6-1. The Red Sox have an 8-0 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 18th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 58 this season. Boston ranks in the top five at fourth with 76.
Ranking first in walks, Boston has earned 67 this season. Tampa Bay ranks second with 59 walks.
When the Rays hit at least one home run, they are 5-6. When the Red Sox hit at least one homer, they have a 5-4 record.