Following Marathon Match, Red Sox and Rays Stay ‘Under’

Willie Bee

Saturday, September 16, 2017 2:45 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017 2:45 PM UTC

It took more than six hours to complete last night’s battle between the Red Sox and Rays, and the two go at it again today with MLB odds sitting close to a ‘pick ‘em.

It’s not often when two starting pitchers go head-to-head four times during the same regular season schedule, but that’s what we have Saturday evening when the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays continue their final series of 2017 in St. Petersburg. Rick Porcello (9-17, 4.64) and Alex Cobb (11-9, 3.59) are the two hurlers colliding for a fourth time, and it’s close to a pick ‘em on the board with 8½ for the total.

Displaced by Hurricane Irma, the Rays came home Friday and appeared to have Game 1 locked up with a 5-2 lead heading into the ninth of a game BetOnline closed Boston -215. An error opened the door for the Red Sox to tie the game, however, and they won it 13-6 with a huge 15th inning. The victory guaranteed Boston season series honors at 10-7, the Sox up 4-3 at The Trop.


Could Porcello Lose 20 A Season After Cy Young Honors?

Porcello and Cobb met last Saturday in Boston, Tampa Bay coming away with a 4-1 victory as each hurler worked five frames. Cobb allowed just one run while Porcello surrendered two, both of those plate crossings coming in the fifth and deciding inning. It was the same result as the previous two times the righthanders clashed, Tampa Bay picking up the dubya as the underdog on the MLB odds.

Porcello has two more starts tentatively slated after this game, meaning he could wind up losing 20 games and become only the second pitcher to win a Cy Young Award one season only to drop 20 decisions the next (Steve Carlton 1972-73). Cobb, a far better pitcher at home (2.29 ERA, 12 starts) than on the road (4.74, 15 starts), has had very good luck against Red Sox hitters Andrew Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr., holding that trio to a .180 average (9-50).


Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Crew chief Jeff Nelson has plate duty for this one, the St. Paul native bringing a 17-11-1 O/U/P record into the matchup. Nelson worked a home start by Cobb in June and a Rays-Red Sox clash in Boston earlier this season, both contests going ‘over’ the totals. Scoreboard results have also leaned ‘over’ with 8½ run totals (5-2).

Nelson’s tendencies on the totals contradict what we’ve generally seen when these clubs gather in St. Pete, 4-9 O/U since the middle of the 2016 campaign. Boston’s bullpen has been stretched out the last two days, but I’m still going to trust an ‘under’ play for my free baseball pick.

Free MLB Pick: Under 8½ (-115)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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