Rivals from the American League East get started in MLB betting action on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, where the Boston Red Sox hope to take a game from the Tampa Bay Rays on the road.
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The Sox are playing better ball right now, rolling off five straight wins coming into this series. That being said, this is a tough spot for them to be coming into, knowing that they are going against one of the best home teams in the game. It also doesn't help that Clay Buchholz, who has largely been one of the worst pitchers in the game this year, is going to be on the bump on Wednesday night. Sure, Buchholz is 4-1 on the campaign, but he is only getting the job done because of his offense. The team has given him at least six runs of support in all but one start this year, including at least 11 runs three times (and the Sox are only 2-1 in those games!). Buchholz has more walks (22) than strikeouts (20), and his ERA only finally came down below 8.50 for the first time this season after his most recent start against the Cleveland Indians. Batters are hitting .337 against Buchholz this year, and as you would expect, his WHIP is just a dreadful 1.97.
With a 23-14 record through the first nearly two month of the season, the Rays have to feel pretty darn good about themselves. They are tied with the Baltimore Orioles atop the AL East, and they are also level with the Texas Rangers for the best record in the American League. The playoffs seem like a foregone conclusion for Tampa Bay this year if this keeps up, especially with the way that the team has played here at the Trop. On Wednesday, it will be youngster Jeremy Hellickson that gets the ball from Manager Joe Maddon. Hellickson really only has one bad start this year, but it came against these Red Sox when he allowed seven hits and five runs in five frames at Fenway Park back on April 14th. Since then though, he has allowed just a total of nine earned runs in five starts, and he is 2-0 to show for it. Of course, it would help if Tampa Bay gave him some more support. The team only has three runs in four straight games with Hellickson on the mound. Still, for the year, this righty is 3-0 with a solid 2.95 and a decent K/BB ratio of 29/16.
Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays Pick: In the end, the choice in this one is simple. We are going against "The Nation" for sure. The Rays have too much oomph for the Sox to stop them, even in the form with which they are playing.
Free Baseball Pick: Tampa Bay Rays