Rays vs. Red Sox MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Why Jeffrey Springs Should Cool Off Boston’s Hot Bats (Tuesday, July 5)
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jeffrey Springs.
- The Red Sox are short home favorites on Tuesday night against the Rays.
- Tampa will start Jeffrey Springs while Boston will counter with Nick Pivetta.
- Doug Ziefel breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Rays vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-130|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Looking back, it seems fitting that the boys from Boston took this series opener on Independence Day. However, after being shut out yesterday, the Rays will have an opportunity to flip the script in game two this evening.
Tampa will hand the ball to Jeffrey Springs, who has put together a fantastic season thus far as he's fully transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation. However, facing this Red Sox lineup may be his most challenging task yet.
As for the Red Sox, they will hand the ball to Nick Pivetta. Pivetta has been very solid lately as he'll enter this start having thrown a quality start in 10 of his last 11 appearances. However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows with Pivetta, and the Rays have the bats capable of raining on his parade. So, will Pivetta continue his dominant stretch, or are the Rays poised to even this series? Let's take a closer look to find out.
Expect Tampa to Get Going Early
While Pivetta has been impressive, his underlying metrics are very concerning, and his regression will begin tonight. His 3.23 ERA is expected to be a full run higher because of the amount of hard contact he's surrendered this year. Entering this start, he ranks in the bottom 10 percent of the majors in Average Exit Velocity allowed and Hard-Hit Rate. Those numbers are connected to the command issues that Pivetta has displayed both in and out of the strike zone.
His Walk Rate is in the bottom 45 percent of all qualified pitchers, and his Chase Rate is even worse as it sits in the bottom 20 percent. Pivetta is bound to create jams for himself with traffic on the bases, but will the Rays capitalize on their opportunities?
The Rays are overdue to come through with runners in scoring position. They have a team BABIP of .290 but just a .248 batting average with runners in scoring position. While they are a team that strikes out a bit, their rate when runners are in scoring position drops by over 3.5 percent.
The top of the order should thrive in this matchup. Yandy Diaz, Wander Franco, Harold Ramirez, and Ji-Man Choi all have above-average Hard-Hit Rates, and each of them except Choi has an xBA above .290. Those are the first four batters Pivetta will see, and they should have a strong chance to put the Rays on the board early.
Look For Springs to Contain Boston's Hot Bats
The Red Sox have been on a tear for quite some time now, and that includes winning six of their last 10 games entering this game. Their recent run has vaulted them right back into the playoff picture, and with Sale and Eovaldi on the mend, everything is looking up for Boston. However, Springs is prepared to cool them off a bit.
Springs has made a seamless transition from the bullpen and still sports a 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP with 65 punchouts in 60 innings of work. Tonight he'll face a Boston lineup that is not only hot but has torn up left-handed pitching this season. The Red Sox are third in batting average and 10th in ISO against lefties for the season. The good news for Rays fans is that Springs isn't your typical lefty.
His three-pitch mix is not elite by any velocity or movement standards, but the perception he creates makes him successful. Springs is excellent at tunneling his arsenal to constantly keep hitters off-balance and guessing. That is shown by his Whiff and Chase Rates. His Whiff Rate is in the top 25 percent of all qualified pitchers, and his Chase Rate is even better as it sits in the top five percent.
Happy Jeffrey Springs Joins the Rotation day for all who celebrate. Springs is a LHP with reverse splits and an above-average CSW% on all three of his pitches in 2022.
— Samuel French (@SamSFrench) May 9, 2022
The Red Sox have gotten a glance at Springs earlier this season as he made an extended relief appearance against them. He struck out two and walked two while surrendering no hits in two innings of work. I expect him to replicate that success while his lineup gives him ample run support.
Rays-Red Sox Pick
This is the spot to sell high on the Red Sox. Pivetta is due for some significant regression and will face a lineup that is more than capable of knocking him around.
Then on the other side, Boston's lineup may be seeing the ball well of late, but Springs is going to provide some deceptive looks and frustrate them for the duration of the game. I'm taking the Rays and would also encourage grabbing a piece of them on the first five moneyline.
Pick: Rays Moneyline +110