Rays vs. Red Sox: Pick Home Chalk As Ace Pitcher Hits The Hill

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, April 21, 2016 11:09 AM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 21, 2016 11:09 AM GMT

Tampa Bay has David Price on the hill with an offense that came alive in this Rays vs. Red Sox series. Let's review the MLB odds and cash a ticket from this rubber game of a three-game set.

2016 MLB Record: (6-3, +2.58 units)

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

Tampa Bay Rays (6-8, -3.8 units)
The Rays saw their three-game winning streak halted last night while Tampa Bay's third baseman, Evan Longoria, watched his 15-game hitting streak come to a close courtesy of Rick Porcello and the Boston bullpen. The loss dropped the Rays to 6-8 on the season and the club continues to struggle to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Tampa Bay is dead last in the major leagues in runs scored, on base percentage and batting average while checking in at 25th in slugging percentage. Indeed it is their pitching staff that has gotten them past their offensive travails as evidenced by its 3.27 ERA, good for 8th in the majors.

The Rays No. 2 man in the rotation, Jake Odorizzi, is the next man up after their ace Chris Archer failed to get the job done on Wednesday night. The twenty-six-year-old Illinois native has pitched well but has been on the receiving end of some hard luck in the early going. Despite posting an impressive 2.41 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP the right-hander is 0-1 after three solid starts. Once again the team's lack of scoring punch has haunted them in Odorizzi's outings, scoring only seven runs over his three appearances. After getting outdueled by one the very best in Chris Sale on Friday he will now face another elite ace in David Price at Fenway tonight.

 

Boston Red Sox (7-7, -0.8 units)
After some puzzling moves by Red Sox manager John Farrell, Boston had the lineup chalk full of all the usual suspects that had been penciled in during the preseason as starters. Brock Holt had been conspicuously absent over the last three games while bench jockey Chris Young gobbled up the playing time. Even clubhouse leader Dustin Pedroia has already gotten a seat on the bench in order to give him a breather on a season that is less than three weeks old. Farrell has made some head scratching moves and when his romance with a young reporter went public in March it sent tongues wagging in Beantown. Has the glow of a new relationship clouded his vision? Sox fans are asking that very question.

Prized free agent acquisition David Price will take the hill to face his old team after turning in a sharp performance against the Blue Jays in his last outing. Price went seven full innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits, no walks and nine strikeouts en route to a 4-2 win. The MLB odds makers installed Price as a -135 home favorite that paid off for all those who included him in their MLB picks on Saturday afternoon. Price is 1-2 against the Rays in his career with an ERA of 4.26 but a WHIP of 0.895 in those three appearances.

 

Betting Analysis
These teams have been evenly matched over the past three seasons with the Red Sox owning a narrow 11-10 advantage in all games played at Fenway Park during that span. The Rays are 1-6 in their last seven road games and are struggling to plate runs. Of course they have Jake Odorizzi on the bump tonight which will give them a viable chance to get past one of the league's best in David Price.

However, when you consider that Boston enjoys the home field advantage coupled with having their ace on the hill and an offense that is far superior to the Rays, it is hard to walk down that path which will lead me to grab the plus money and the travelin' pup here. Although Odorizzi is a fine young pitcher he has no offensive support while the home chalk has their ace on the hill with an offense that came alive last night. Let's just hope manager John Farrell doesn't try to get "creative" with his lineup and ruin our chances.

If you're looking for more free MLB picks for tonight, go ahead and check our capper's take on the Diamondbacks vs. Giants game!

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Free MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox -155
Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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