Tampa Bay continued their red-hot play with a 3-0 win in their series opener in Boston to pull a half-game behind the Red Sox ahead of Tuesday night’s game. Wednesday’s finale will see the Rays turn to their ace in an attempt to snatch a huge series win (or possibly a sweep if they win on Tuesday) at Fenway Park. Could the Rays be offering some good value on the baseball betting lines?
Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox
Odds: Red Sox -155
David Price (4-5, 4.03) has returned from injury pitching like the guy that won the American League’s Cy Young award last season as he has gone 3-1 in his last four starts, and in the lone loss, he scattered two runs over nine innings in a 2-1 loss to Houston. In his last outing, Price went seven strong, giving up four runs (three on homers) in an 8-5 win in Toronto and while he did walk a batter, it was his first BB in four starts, so it’s hard to complain. Price’s last start before hitting the disabled list came against the Red Sox on May 15th when he failed to make it out of the third inning, and so far this season he is 0-1 in two starts against Boston with a 5.40 ERA; throughout his career, Price is 8-5 in 17 starts with a 3.27 ERA, and he is 4-1 in eight starts at Fenway with a 2.13 ERA.
Felix Doubront (7-3, 3.76) is obviously flying under the radar as he goes up against the reigning Cy Young winner, but he has won his last three starts and has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last six starts. He was the starter in a 4-2 win over the New York Yankees, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits over 6.1 innings, striking out five with three walks, and he has turned out to be a valuable innings eater for the Red Sox, especially with Clay Buchholz still on the disabled list. He doesn’t have a decision in two starts against the Rays in 2013 despite an excellent 1.38 ERA and overall, Doubront is 2-1 in nine games (six starts) with a 3.05 ERA when facing Tampa Bay. At home this season, Doubront is 3-1 in eight games (seven starts) with a 3.51 ERA.
Matt Moore got the Rays off to a very good start by leading the way to that 3-0 win by tossing a complete-game two-hitter, while Tampa Bay did what Tampa Bay does: manufacture runs despite not being a heavy-hitting team. They got a pair of runs off sacrifice flies and then played great fundamental baseball and that is why the Rays have managed to erase their early-season stumbles to emerge as the darkhorse for the AL East title. The Red Sox and Yankees may have overachieved in the first half, Baltimore is inconsistent and Toronto has been the biggest disappointment in all of baseball. Tampa Bay will continue their hot play behind Price and pick up a win on the MLB betting odds at Fenway on Wednesday night.