Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Game 2 Prediction and Pick

Game 2 is a must-win for the Boston Red Sox with Chris Sale on the mound. Jason Radowitz gives us his Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays prediction and pick for Friday's ALDS Game 2 in Tampa Bay.
Jason Radowitz
Fri, October 8, 6:28 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Game 2 Prediction and Pick

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Game 2 Probable Pitchers

  • Red Sox: Chris Sale (5-1, 3.16 ERA)
  • Rays: Shane Baz. (2-0, 2.03 ERA)

Red Sox vs. Rays odds - Game 2

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Game 2 Prediction

The Tampa Rays enjoyed a shutout win last night against the Red Sox, 5-0 to open up the ALDS. While Boston had nine hits in that game, the Red Sox couldn’t find a way to score a single run.

It seems like that will be the theme when going up against the Rays. Tampa Bay has so many quality, young arms that can beat you in so many different ways.

Today, the Red Sox will be introduced to Shane Baz. Baz will make his fourth career start but none more important than this one. The 22-year-old has a 2.03 ERA through three games this season and has all the stuff to earn a high amount of strikeouts.

The right-hander is striking out 36.7 percent of batters with an xFIP of 3.19. He has limited line drives to under 15 percent and induces ground balls around 43 percent of the time. Again, all of Baz's numbers will be small sample sizes, but these numbers at least give you a good idea of how he’s done so far.

Against his first 18 lefties, Baz has allowed a .348 wOBA and ISO of .250. Meanwhile, he’s allowed a .200 ISO to the first 31 righties he’s faced. Therefore, Baz will allow some power here and there and has allowed three home runs in just 13.1 innings pitched.

It’s hard to predict how long the Rays will leave him in the game, even if he’s pitching well. It seems like five innings would be the limit regardless. There are some lefties in the Red Sox lineup that he might have trouble with, including Rafael Devers who has an ISO of .370 a wOBA of .429 against righties in the last 30 days.

On the other hand, Chris Sale will take the hill for the Red Sox. He’s been inconsistent this season, but despite all that, he finished the year 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA.

Sale has allowed two or more runs in his last three starts but the strikeouts are rising again. He has a 3.96 xFIP in the last 30 days and a strikeout rate of 26.9 percent. The walks can get a bit high at 7.7 percent in the same time frame and Sale will allow plenty of line drives.

Sale has allowed 27.3 percent line drives in the last 30 days along with a ground ball rate of just 42.4 percent. However, he’s limited hard contact to 33.3 percent, which will help his case.

Last night, the Red Sox sent out lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and he was touched up before he could finish two innings. Sale is much better than Rodriguez but the Rays just have ridiculous numbers against lefties. In the last 30 days, the Rays have a .282 ISO, wOBA of .391 and are hitting just 34.4 percent ground balls with a BABIP of .365.

Plus, the Rays have never been a walk in the park for Sale. The Rays roster has a .739 OPS through 111 at-bats with four home runs, three triples and two doubles.

Therefore, I’m wagering on the Rays Over 3.5 on the team total in the full game. Sale is usually good to allow one or two runs in his outings and then the bullpen should give up the rest. Yesterday, the Red Sox used Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta and with those two already on the mound this series, fatigue will start to set in for this Boston bullpen.

This game, the Red Sox have much more potential of scoring early, which is why I’m staying away from a moneyline wager.

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Game 2 Prediction: Rays Team Total Over 3.5 @ -115

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