The Boston Red Sox held on for a 2-0 victory in Tuesday’s road opener with the Tampa Bay Rays, cashing at plus 132 MLB odds. Wednesday’s rematch has a pair of righties squaring off, with Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb (8-3, 2.99 ERA) facing Boston’s Ryan Dempster (8-9, 4.79 ERA).
Check out our Wednesday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.
Red Sox cash in tight duel
Boston’s Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in one run each as part of Tuesday’s win, while both clubs were held to four hits. Red Sox relievers Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa both logged holds, while closer Koji Uehara picked up his 19th in the battle’s final 1 1/3 frames.
Rays mates Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria both went 0-for-4, with Longoria striking out three times. Tampa Bay’s Yunel Escobar poked a double from his lineup’s No. 9 slot, while the close contest’s two runs plunged UNDER the ‘total’ of seven.
Cobb falls as road ‘chalk’
Cobb came away with a no-decision in Friday’s 6-4 defeat as a 122 road favorite for Tampa Bay against the Seattle Mariners. The Boston native allowed four runs over six innings, giving up a homer to Seattle’s Raul Ibanez as part of seven hits.
Tampa Bay’s Delmon Young drilled a long ball and double, while leadoff man Desmond Jennings was held to an 0-for-4 night. Rays reliever Joel Peralta logged his staff’s loss, allowing a pair of late unearned runs after an error from Jennings.
Dempster wins in slugfest
Ryan Dempster notched a second straight win with Wednesday’s 20-4 triumph for Boston over the Detroit Tigers, cashing as a 119 home favorite. The 16-year veteran stood in for six frames, allowing four runs on six hits.
Boston’s David Ortiz cracked two of his squad’s eight homers in the wild affair, uniting with mate Will Middlebrooks for eight RBIs. The Red Sox finished with 19 hits, while the lopsided duel’s 24 runs soared OVER the ‘total’ of 9 ½.
Back the Rays on Wednesday
Bet365 opened Cobb as a 129 home favorite, while initial sports betting action on Tampa Bay lifted the MLB odds to minus 134. The ‘total’ was first set at eight, with a minus 115 lean to the UNDER.
I am backing Cobb and the Rays, agreeing with the early ‘steam’ as part of Wednesday’s MLB picks.
Cobb has tossed some tight ball over his last three home spots, holding foes to five earned runs over a combined 15 IP. Tampa Bay has cashed at 7-3 in the hurler’s 10 outings this year at Tropicana Field, while allowing a sparse .290 OBP.
Dempster has needed help from his club’s lineup to prevail in recent battles, allowing 27 runs over his last 36 2/3 innings of action. The British Colombia native faces a Rays’ club that has cashed at 15-4 in its last 19 home dates against a righty starter.
Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria have one homer each in a combined 13 at-bat’s facing Dempster. The duo’s mate Luke Scott may also be leveraged here with a double and triple in a 3-for-7 career mark.
Look for Tampa Bay to even the series in this spot, adding another cashed ticket to its 11-4 mark in Cobb’s last 15 home starts.Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -134 at Bet365