Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 – 7:10pm EST
- Red Sox: Garrett Richards (4-4, 4.36 ERA)
- Rays: Rich Hill (5-2, 3.64 ERA)
The Rays called up Wander Franco and he didn’t disappoint, hitting a game-tying three-run blast over the left field wall. The Rays offense has been solid this season but could absolutely be better. Adding Franco into the mix will be huge as he’s a switch-hitting position player.
Garrett Richards will start for the Red Sox and he’ll have to face Franco a couple times through the order tonight.
Richards has allowed 15 runs in his last three starts through 20.1 innings. In those 20.1 innings, Richards has given up 30 hits and nine walks with just 17 strikeouts.
Currently, he’s striking out 19.2 percent of batters and walking 10.5 percent of batters all while allowing a batting average of balls in play at .350, which is extremely high and the highest number on the slate for pitchers tonight, who qualify for enough innings.
Richards has struggled striking out batters from the left side and has command issues against righties as of late. And of course, on top of that, he’s struggling to get outs with balls in play.
The Rays lineup had been dominant against righties in May but have since cooled off in June. Still, they’ll be expected to have seven lefties in the lineup against Richards and that could really be an advantage to the Rays hitters, especially with Wander Franco in the mix offensively.
On the other hand, Rich Hill will get the start for the Rays. The left-hander was having such a good season until his last two starts.
Hill allowed four earned runs in his last two starts each against the Orioles and Mariners. Those are two poor offenses where he struggled to go deeper than five innings in both games.
He allowed three home runs in those two starts and gave up four walks along with 10 hits combined. He also struck out five per start.
Things might be unraveling for Hill who has walked lefties at a high rate and is allowing plenty of hard contact to righties as of late as well.
The Red Sox lineup had struggled against lefties in the last month or so but things could be turning around after having success against them last week. Hunter Renfroe has been sensational against lefties along with Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts showing off some power.
Both pitchers haven’t been all that great recently and both of these offenses are starting to come together. In a divisional game, in a series that really matters early on, both offenses are well prepared. The Rays added Wander Franco before their series against the Red Sox. That’s no coincidence.
The Red Sox added their top prospect Connor Wong with Kevin Plawecki going down. He might get some playing time and is an interesting bat as well. There’s plenty of talent in these lineups right now.
So at this point, both lineups profile well enough where they should each score four runs in this game. If both teams can find a way to score four runs, they’ll cash the over 8.5 ticket.
We’ll roll with that.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction: Over 8.5 (-115) at BetMGM