Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction & Pick

Monday's Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays prediction from MLB handicapper Jason Radowitz. Don't miss Jason's pick for this AL East showdown.
Jason Radowitz
Mon, August 30, 5:48 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction & Pick

  • Red Sox: Nick Pivetta (9-6, 4.57 ERA)
  • Rays: Luis Patino (3-3, 4.53 ERA)

Red Sox vs. Rays odds

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction

If the Red Sox want to stay in contention, they’re going to have to find a way to beat the Rays. Currently, the Red Sox are locked into the second wild-card spot but they’ve got Oakland, Seattle and Toronto breathing on their necks at this point.

On the other hand, the Rays have won seven straight games and are sitting comfortably at the top of the AL East in first place.

The Red Sox lineup has looked really good against righties in the last 30 days. They’re hitting a .248 ISO and wOBA of .374. The projected lineup hasn’t struck out that much at just 17 percent of the time and they’re also walking 11 percent of the time.

All of this is good news going up against Luis Patino, who has a 6.22 xFIP in his last 30 days of work. Patino’s strikeouts are lower than 20 percent and he’s walking 12.6 percent of batters in the last 30 days.

His ground ball rate is sitting at 33.9 percent in those same days and he’s allowing 37.3 percent hard contact. Lefties have a .390 wOBA and ISO of .333 in Patino’s last 44 plate appearances and a .205 ISO to righties in his last 43 plate appearances. He has really struggled finding a put-away pitch against lefties and has walked more lefties than struck out in his last couple of outings.

In August, Patino has thrown 20 innings and has allowed 18 hits, 11 runs and five home runs along with 11 walks and 17 strikeouts. He’s been about average game-to-game and average won’t cut it against a Red Sox lineup that has looked very good in the past month against righties.

On the other hand, Nick Pivetta will take the mound for the Red Sox. He’s got a 4.61 xFIP in his last 30 days. Pivetta will get his strikeouts against the Rays but he also might slip and allow some power to lefties. In the last 39 plate appearances against lefties, Pivetta has allowed a wOBA of .344 and an ISO of .182.

His strikeouts are low to lefties and walks are higher. You could imagine that the Rays are seeing what we’re seeing. Tampa Bay is expected to stack lefties against Pivetta.

The projected lineup, with five lefties, has an IS of .230 with a wOBA of .326. The Rays offense strikes out 25.3 percent of the time but the probability that this time hits a homerun or two is high thanks to an excellent ISO number as a team.

The first five over is set at just 4.5, meaning both teams will need to combine to score five runs before the 5th inning is over. I wouldn’t be surprised if one team scores five themselves against these two pitchers.

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction: Over 4.5 F5 @ -115

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