MLB Picks: Red Sox vs. Rays to go 'Under' in First 5 Innings

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:12 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2013 12:12 PM GMT

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays played against each other for over five hours in the opening game of a three-game series, which could lead to a sluggish approach at the plate Tuesday.


Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting lines for this American League East matchup at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Check out our Tuesday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.

Sitting on top of the world 

Boston holds a two-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East standings, as it came away with a 10-8 victory over Tampa Bay as +129 road underdogs Monday, while going OVER the total for a fifth consecutive contest. 

The Red Sox are 16-9 versus divisional foes during the 2013 campaign, with the UNDER holding a slight 13-12 advantage. 

Coming up short in clutch situations 

Tampa Bay has dropped six of seven meetings with Boston this season, with the offense hitting just .129 with runners in scoring position, while the pitching staff is allowing a .346 average in that situation. 

The Rays are 11-8 as home underdogs of +100 to +125 the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 11-6-2 in those 19 opportunities.

Lester 

Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (6-2, 3.60 ERA) has watched the club alternated wins and losses over his last five efforts, as he failed to earn a decision in a 6-3 home victory over the Texas Rangers last time out, allowing three runs and seven hits over six frames.

The left-hander is 4-2 with a 4.11 ERA in eight road outings, surrendering four home runs in 50.1 combined innings.

In 24 career games versus the Rays, Lester has compiled an 11-8 record and 4.07 ERA, including a 9-2 road win on May 15. 

Hernandez 

Rays starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 5.03 ERA) will look to bounce back from a 5-2 road loss to the Detroit Tigers last time out, as he allowed four runs and 10 hits over 5.1 innings of work. 

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.08 ERA in five home starts, with opposing hitters batting .227 against him.

In nine career games (seven starts) versus the Red Sox, Hernandez has tallied a losing 2-4 record and 3.63 ERA, but hasn’t faced them since May 24, 2011.

[gameodds]3/236184/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total in the first five innings as one of their MLB picks Tuesday night, as the UNDER is 9-4 in Lester’s last 13 starts versus the Rays. 

MLB Pick: Under 4.5 First Five Innings

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