Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Prediction and Pick

Lead MLB handicapper Jason Radowitz previews tonight's game in the AL East division clash between the Red Sox and Rays.
Jason Radowitz
Tue, September 7, 6:40 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Prediction and Pick

Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Probable Pitchers

  • Rays: Drew Rasmussen (1-1, 3.38 ERA)
  • Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (11-7, 4.88 ERA)

Red Sox vs Rays Odds

It looks like the Red Sox lineup is close to being back to normal today. They’ve added Jose Iglesias to play the middle infield, but outside that, the entire lineup includes familiar faces to Boston faithful.

They’ll take on Drew Rasmussen, who has now been stretched from a relief role into a starter’s role. He’s done well but still has an xFIP of 4.33 with a strikeout rate of just 20.6 percent.

Rasmussen is giving up 23.9 percent of line drives in the last 30 days, along with 50 percent hard contact. That’s not always good when pitching in Fenway Park. Against righties, he’s walking 12.9 percent and striking out 12.9 percent of batters.

Then to lefties, Rasmussen is inducing just 34.8 percent of ground balls along with a 30.4 percent line-drive percentage.

The Red Sox lineup has crushed righties as of late, with the projected lineup averaging an ISO of .272 and a wOBA of .385. In addition, the lineup has struck out under 20 percent of the time to righties and is walking just under 12 percent of the time.

On top of that, the Red Sox hit ground balls just 38.8 percent of the time and hit line drives 22 percent of the time with their projected lineup.

Rasmussen faced the Red Sox last week and allowed just three hits with one run and five strikeouts. This time around, the Red Sox should put together a better game plan to get to Rasmussen.

You will notice that Rasmussen usually finishes about three innings and then dips. This is because he’s struggled the second time through an order, allowing an OPS of .729 with hitters averaging .308 against him.

Now that he’s being stretched out, the Rays are hopeful he can go five innings. Then, the second time through the order, Rasmussen will struggle, and the Red Sox, with a near healthy lineup back in action, should be able to do damage

On the season, Alex Verdugo is batting .500 against Rasmussen with a double and a triple. Rafael Devers also has a double in five at-bats. Catcher Christian Vazquez has two hits in three plate appearances as well.

These are all small sample sizes, but the Red Sox bats have seen Rasmussen often enough to capitalize at Fenway Park. He’s allowed just .64 home runs per nine innings, but that’s all about to change when he steps into Fenway Park for five innings. This time, the Red Sox will be ready and prepared.

With that, I’ll take the Red Sox Over 2.5 in the first five on the team total at even money. There’s plenty of value here with the Red Sox lineup getting back to near full strength.

Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Prediction: Red Sox Over 2.5 F5 TT (+100)

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