Matchup: Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Date/Time: September 11th, 7:10 PM ET

Television: ESPN

MLB Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook

Probable Starters: Dempster (Boston) vs. Cobb (Tampa Bay)

Moneyline: Rays -130

Total: 8

The top two teams in the AL East battle it out on Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN, where the Boston Red Sox are going to hope to likely put their foot on the throat of the Tampa Bay Rays once and for all.

Boston has really surged over the course of the last few weeks, and it is now seven up in the loss column over Tampa Bay going into play on Wednesday night. There's really no excuse not to win the division now, and with three games in the loss column on the Oakland Athletics, there really isn't an excuse over the course of the last 16 games of the season to blow the top record in the American League either. The boys from Beantown are hitting the cover off of the baseball at the moment. Yes, they only scored two runs last night against the Rays, but they also have scored an average of 9.83 runs per game in their last six and 7.50 runs per game in their last 10. RHP Ryan Dempster is hoping to be the beneficiary of a great offensive output once again in this one. He was the man on the bump for the 20-4 win over the Detroit Tigers last week, and he would love to get something similar this time around. Dempster is 8-9 on the season with a 4.79 ERA though, and he has allowed at least three earned runs in his last three starts. Boston has plated at least four runs for Dempster in 12 straight starts.

The Rays are really in some trouble right now. They're two up in the loss column on the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians, they're three up in the loss column on the New York Yankees, and they're up four on the Kansas City Royals. Time is running short, but wins have been few and far between of late. The team really needs to get rolling at some point again in the near future, or Manager Joe Maddon and company will be watching the second season. RHP Alex Cobb will get the ball in this one. He allowed four runs in his last start against the Seattle Mariners, getting a no decision in a 6-4 loss. Cobb has guided the team to three straight defeats, but it's not all his fault. The truth of the matter is that the righty has pitched well all season long, allowing more than four runs just twice in his 18 starts. He has been consistent, posting a 2.99 ERA, and the argument could be made that he has been the best righty pitcher in this rotation all season long.

However, we have a tough time believing that the Red Sox should be underdogs right now against anyone in the game. We really like the fact that Boston is playing so well offensively, and even with Dempster certainly not being the better of these two pitchers, it doesn't seem to matter. The boys from Beantown will continue to streak on Wednesday night.

Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays Pick: Boston Red Sox +122