Tuesday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rays vs. Red Sox: Crucial AL East Series Starts at Fenway Park (August 10)
- A crucial American League East series starts on Tuesday at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox will host the Rays.
- Luis Patiño will start for Tampa Bay opposite veteran left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who has looked much better of late.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down the matchup below and makes his pick.
Rays vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds
|Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. ET
|Odds as of Monday via PointsBet.
The Red Sox picked a horrible time to start free falling as the other teams in the American League East are red hot. Boston is just 2-8 in its last 10 games, including blowing a 7-2 lead on Sunday. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay, the Yankees and Blue Jays are all 8-2 in their last 10 games.
Boston has already relinquished first place in the division to the Rays during this skid and now sit just 2 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees and three games up on Toronto for the last wild-card position in the AL. (The Red Sox are tied with Oakland atop the wild-card race.)
Tampa Bay will have a really good chance to distance itself in the division lead with its upcoming schedule. Coming off a three-game sweep of Baltimore, the Rays get three games against Boston, followed by three in Minnesota and four more against Baltimore.
So far the Rays have gone 5-4 against Boston this season and just swept a three-game series against the Sox to finish July. Will Boston stop the bleeding at home or will it continue to fall down the AL East standings against the division leader?
Tampa Bay Rays
Only four players in the league are younger than the 21-year old Luis Patiño. The right-hander was the headliner in the trade package that Tampa Bay received from San Diego in exchange for Blake Snell.
It is still way too early to judge Patiño since he has made just seven starts this season, during which he has a 1-3 record and a 4.83 ERA. His best outing came on July 29 against the Yankees when he tossed six scoreless innings and struck out eight.
Patiño throws his fastball in the high 90s and has a terrific slider, which is allowing just a .113 batting average and has a 45.8 K% this season.
The baseball world was expecting a huge season from rookie Randy Arozarena after his breakout postseason performance. After a slow start to the season, the outfielder has finally gotten going. Over the last 30 days he is batting .338 with a 1.089 OPS. He is currently on the COVID-19 list as a close contact, but manager Kevin Cash indicated he could return on Tuesday so keep an eye on that.
Boston Red Sox
It has been a tough 12 months for Eduardo Rodriguez, who missed the entire 2020 season after suffering from myocarditis caused by contracting the COVID-19 virus last July.
After posting a 3.81 ERA in the previous two seasons, Rodriguez has struggled to regain his form this season, sitting with a 5.33 ERA and allowing a .335 wOBA, both of which would be career worsts. However, the advanced numbers also indicate he has been extremely unlucky.
On the surface, a 5.33 ERA is one of the worst in the league, but he has a 3.64 xERA, which is in the top 40% of the league. His .355 wOBA compared to his .294 xwOBA is the sixth highest difference in the league.
The recent results have supported the looming regression that has been coming all season. In his last six starts, Rodriguez has three scoreless outings. He had a season-high 10 strikeouts in his last start.
Boston’s offense started the year scorching hot and one of the best in the league and rank seventh in wOBA and ninth in wRC+. However, the Red Sox's bats have gone a bit cold recently. Over the last two weeks, they're just 20th in wOBA and 23rd in wRC+.
Red Sox fans were a bit puzzled and disappointed at the lack of moves the team made at the deadline as teams around them all added pieces. The only move Boston made was for slugger Kyle Schwarber, who while a good player seemingly was not a real need given they already have J.D. Martinez at DH and a solid outfield.
Despite the recent struggles, this is still a strong lineup and guys like Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo are playing really well right now. The Sox do need Xander Bogaerts to return to the All-Star level he was at in the first half.
Rays-Red Sox Pick
While the numbers probably indicate that Tampa Bay has been the better team of the last couple weeks, my gut is telling me the Red Sox are desperate for a win and will come out strong after a day off following the collapse on Sunday.
Boston is coming off a 10-game road trip that it really struggled on, and a return to Fenway Park could be just what it needs, especially against a young pitcher making his first career start at the historic ballpark.
The Red Sox are 33-22 at home this year and have hit the ball great at home this year, averaging 5.16 runs per game at Fenway, which is sixth in the league. Tampa Bay has been really good on the road this year, but it was swept in a three-game series in its only other trip to Boston back in early April.
I am not super confident in it, but I lean Boston to bounce back at home and get a much needed win. I would back them at -120 but wouldn't go higher than -125.
Pick: Red Sox ML (-120, play to -125)