Red Sox (9-6) currently hold a lead over Rays (7-8) tonight. Tampa Bay can ill-afford to lose this one as a 2 game swing is involved. Join us to find where the MLB odds value is heading tonight.
First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. tonight at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays have one of the quieter, less supportive crowds that you'll see in the MLB and tonight they will need to get off to a quick start or the fans will be heading for the exits. Pitcher Jake Odorizzi and the Rays are getting very little respect from the MLB odds makers as they are just -106 betting favorites and the total for the game is 7.5 (+100).
Tampa Bay is just 2-6 at home. I had a friend who saw the Yankees visit the Rays when Alex Roriguez hit 2 home runs in the 9-0 Yankees win and he said that the place was dead with people leaving early. If a team has a poor fanbase, that's half of the problem. It reminds me of all of those good Atlanta Braves team that couldn't sell out the stadium in the playoffs; pretty pathetic.
Steven Souza Jr.
Right now, this isn't Evan Longoria's team as he's hitting .213 with 1 HR and 2 RBI. Steven Souza Jr. has been carrying the Rays offensively thus far. The rookie is steadily moving his batting average up with some multiple hit games and is batting .288 on the season with 4 HR 11 RBI, and 4 SB. Souza is also great a drawing a walk from the opposing pitcher, His on base percentage of .373 speaks for itself and he has been keeping this Rays team afloat.
Kevin Kiermaier (2 HR, 4 RBI, .282 BA) and Logan Forsythe (2 HR and 6 RBI, .277 BAA) have also been hitting well, but this Rays offense is just like their fanbase,un-intimidating.
They will need to put forth one of their best performances as they face Clay Buchholz (1-2, 6.06) who has gotten off to a very slow start to the season Buccholz's statistics are misleading. He's had 2 good starts and one awful one. In the poor start, he allowed 9 runs and 10 hits in 3 1/13 innings to the New York Yankees. WIth Buchholz, you have to look past the statistics as this was a pitcher that started a season off at 10-0. I give Boston the advantage in almost every facet of the game, including the pitching department.
I would include Brock Holt, who is hitting over .400 as a player to watch, but he's had limited at bats. While David Ortiz is showing his age (.208), Hanley Ramirez has taken over as the leader on this team besides Dustin Pedroia. Ramirez leads the Sox with 5 HR, 12 RBI and has scored 10 runs to go along with a respectable .268 BA. There are players in this league that are much more intimidating, but Boston needs Ramirez's bat in the lineup. He's a a player that hussles and that's just the type of player that fits the Red Sox mold.
Xander Bogaerts has started off his 2nd season well. Let's face it, he'll never be a Kris Bryant, but this kid has potential written all over him. He's hitting nearly .300 with a .368 OBP%, but needs to start hitting for power.
This is a dead even game as both Buchholz and Odorizzi can shutdown a lineup. I'm going to go with the under for this game MLB pick as the pitchers should dominate against two weak hitting ball clubs.
MLB Pick- Under 7.5 +100 at 5 Dimes