Finding Betting Value In Rays vs. Red Sox

Kevin Stott

Saturday, July 9, 2016 3:29 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 9, 2016 3:29 PM UTC

Historic Fenway Park in Boston is the site of Game 2 of this AL East series between scheduled starter Rick Porcello and the host Red Sox and Matt Moore and the slumping Tampa Bay Rays who had won just 3 of their L22 games heading into Friday’s opener here.

So do we blindly fade the Rays? Of course we do, as it’s always easier to ride the horse in the direction he’s going. And with the game at Fenway Park and Rick Porcello going, backing the Red Sox is a nice starting MLB picks for our SBR readership. Let’s look at some of the specifics here and provide some Trends and Thoughts for this Saturday night game.


MLB Odds Overview
Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox [Sunday 00:05] (NESN, SunSports, Directv 628, Directv 653 (US), 7:05 p.m. EDT/4:05 p.m. PDT): The Boston Red Sox (46-38) and RHP sinkerballer Rick Porcello (10-2) face the Tampa Bay Rays (34-51) and LHP Matt Moore (5-4) in Game 2 of this 3-game AL East series at Fenway Park in Boston on Saturday night. Offshore oddsmakers have opened up the Red Sox as solid -166 Home favorites ( with the game’s Total (Runs) opening up at 10½ (Under -120, The Run Line MLB odds seeing Boston -1½ runs juiced at +125 with the visiting Rays +1½ runs at -145 (BetOnline).

The scheduled Starters for Game 3 on Sunday (4:35 p.m. EDT/1:35 p.m. PDT) are RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-4, 4.33 ERA, 94 K’s, 1.26 WHIP) for Tampa Bay and LHP and former Rays hurler David Price (8-6, 4.64 ERA, 130 K’s, 1.23 WHIP) for Boston. In Game 1 of the series on Friday night, Boston sent Sean O’Sullivan to the bump against Rays starter Chris Archer (BOS -115, 10o-115, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook).


Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays (500/1 to win World Series, Bovada) and Manager Kevin Cash are in a major funk right now, having gone 3-19 in their L22 heading into Game 1 of this series on Friday night, with the Rays (L3) falling to 18-28 at Home at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and to 16-23 on the Road after sitting at 31-32 back on June 16. Talk about a June Swoon.

This recent run may have soured any hopes Tampa Bay (250/1 to win AL, BetVictor) might have had of making the Playoffs this season, but living in the milktoast AL East and now 15½ GB means that the Rays aren’t totally done, but will need to reel of some solid winning streaks and beat teams within their own division to have any kind of a chance. (They’re done.) But few teams that go on a 3-19 run in their L22 games right before the All-Star Break make the MLB Postseason.

On Thursday in a 5-1 Loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Tropicana Field in the Sunshine State, Tampa Bay Manager Cash had a Starting Batting Order of: 2B Logan Forsythe, SS Brad Miller, DH Evan Longoria, RF Steven Souza Jr., CF Brandon Gwyer, 1B Nick Franklin, LF Oswaldo Arcia, 3B Tim Beckham and C Hank Conger with Blake Snell (1-4) getting the Start and getting tagged with the Loss despite pitching 6.0 IP and allowing just 2 Runs—both Earned—on 4 Angels Hits and striking out 7 Halos. Miller (2-4, Single, HR) had a solo Home Run to account for the Rays only Run off Los Angeles starter Hector Santiago.


Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox (16/1 to win World Series, BetVictor) and Manager John Farrell have struggled in recent years with the Rays, even in Boston and whereas the Red Sox once had the second-best Run Differential in at AL at +69 (336 RF-267, last Preview), the Carmines are now 2nd (in RD) in their division (AL East) (with a +58 RD) behind the surging Toronto Blue Jays (49-39, +68 RD) and league-leaders Cleveland (51-34, +78 RD) who have been on a torrid streak this Summer over in the AL Central.

In the Red Sox 11-6 win over the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on Thursday, Boston Manager Farrell had a Starting Lineup of: RF Mookie Betts, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Xander Bogaerts, DH David Ortiz, 1B Hanley Ramirez, CF Jackie Bradley Jr., LF Bryce Brentz, 3B Travis Shaw, and C Ryan Hanigan with Eduardo Rodríguez (5.2 IP, 4 Hits, allowed 4 HRs) the Steven Wright (10-5) getting the Start for Boston and getting the Win, going 6.0 IP and allowing 6 Runs—5 of them Earned—on 11 Hits in the bandbox that is Fenway, as the Red Sox had already put up their 11 Runs, scoring in the 1st (2 Runs), 2nd (5 Runs), 3rd (2 Runs) and 4th Innings (2 Runs).

Surprisingly, only two Red Sox players had multiple Hits in the slugfest, with leadoff man Betts going 2-for-5 with 2 Doubles and Brentz going 2-for-4 with 2 Singles and 3 RBI. Boston (27-20 at Home) may end up being a good team to back this Summer, with pressure on them from the 1st-place Orioles and now the surging Blue Jays (8-2 L10). Those damn Birds.


Starting Pitchers Report Card
Rays scheduled starting LHP Matt Moore (5-5, 4.54 ERA, 93 K’s) has been pretty good over his L5 Starts, going 3-1 and allowing just 9 ER on a team which has really been sliding. And Moore will need to be good here, not only because of the tight confines of Fenway Park and the Summer heat, but also because Boston is throwing ace Rick Porcello (10-2, 3.82 ERA, 93 K’s), a RHP sinkerballer who is unbeaten here at Home in Boston (7-0) in 8 Starts and who has a 7-4 lifetime record against the Rays with a 2.98 ERA—impressive with all of those outings coming either here at Fenway where Runs leak out of the Scoreboard or at the indoor Juice Box (Tropicana Field) in St. Pete, where Baseballs get lost in the lights like Santa Claus delivering presents from the South Pole in July with Unicorns flying his Sleigh and not his trusty Reindeers led by that dude with the red nose.

In the L5 years against the Red Sox, Moore has done fairly well against Pedroia (.200, 20 ABs, HR, 3 RBI), Jackie Bradley Jr. (.125) and Ramirez (.143, 7 ABs) while Betts (.556, 9 ABs), Xander Bogaerts (.500, 10 ABs, 2 RBI), Ryan Hanigan (1.000, 2-2), Brock Holt (.500, 1-2), Travis Shaw (.500, 5-10, HR, 3 RBI) and Big Papi Ortiz (.348, 23 ABs, 3 HRs, 8 RBI) have all done very well against the schedule Tampa Bay Starter, Moore. And many of the Rays have done very well as the plate the L5 years against Porcello, with Evan Longoria (.296), Logan Forsythe (.353, 17 ABs), Logan Morrison (.308, 13 ABs), Steven Souza (.400, 15 ABs) and Corey Dickerson (.286, 7 ABS, 2 RBI) all getting their fair share against the 27-year-old native of Morristown, New Jersey.

So we’ll see how much Porcello has improved and it would seem the Site (Fenway Park) might matter for him here as well as maybe offer an opportunity to play the Over (10½ Over +106, Pinnacle) with so many Rays (8-23 L31 vs. RHP Starter) having had success against Porcello in the past, although the forecasted crappy Weather may make that voyage to the theoretical Over a choppier ride.


Boston Weather Forecast, Trends, Final Thoughts and Picks
The Weather Channel forecast for the Beantown on Saturday evening is calling for Rain (and Thunder) likely (70% Chance of Rain), a Low of 61° with ENE Winds 10 to 15 mph with a stifling 91% Humidity. So, it could be really nasty in Beantown and with this Forecast and a Rain Delay in Boston would not surprise ... nor would a 4- to 5-hour game if Mother Nature is in a foul mood on this last Saturday before Tuesday’s (July 12) 2016 All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego (FOX, 7:30 p.m. EDT/PDT). Some Trends for your consumption (heading into Friday night’s Game 1): The Rays are 17-35 their L52 Road games vs. teams with a Winning Record as well as 17-35 their L52 Road games against teams with a Winning Record and 7-21 their L28 against a club with a Winning record at Home.

Tampa Bay is also 0-7 the L7 Road games against a Right-handed starter, 0-7 in the L7 Road games overall and 4-10 in Moore’s L14 Starts. Boston is just 3-7 its L10 games against teams with a Losing Record, 2-5 the L7 games here at Fenway park versus clubs with a Losing Record and 13-6 their L19 Saturday games (4-1 L5 Porcello Saturday Starts.

And some Totals Trends: The Under is 4-0-0 the L4 when Moore is pitching on 4 Days of Rest, the Over is 4-1 the L5 Moore Starts on a Saturday and the Over is 4-1 the Rays L5 against AL East opponents heading into Game 1.

The Over is also an impressive 19-7-2 the L28 Tampa Bay Road games (73.1%), 21-7-2 the L30 Red Sox games against a starting Pitcher with a WHIP of over 1.30 (Moore, 1.31 WHIP) and 17-5-1 the L23 Red Sox games against teams with a Losing Record. Toss in tiny Fenway Park, the fact that the Red Sox games on this current Homestand have seen 9, 23, 15, 17, 9 and 17 Runs scored in the 6 games heading into Friday (15.0 rpg), and the Over is the only look, even with these two Starters.

So, bet the Under if you think Fenway Park’s old green walls will expand and that it actually might Snow in July. This is a game to pay the price and back the better team and Starter (Porcello) who is a perfect 7-0 at Home against a team in a horrendous funk as well as backing the Over because of this 15.0 rpg average on the current Red sox Homestand heading in.

Final Score Prediction: Red Sox 8 Rays 4
Free MLB Picks: Red Sox -158 & Over 10½ +106
Best Line Offered:  at BetOnline & Pinnacle
MLB Record: 16-16-2

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