Thursday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rays vs. Red Sox: Can AL East Foes Keep Scoring Pace at Fenway? (August 12)

Thursday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rays vs. Red Sox: Can AL East Foes Keep Scoring Pace at Fenway? (August 12) article feature image
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Winslow Townson/Getty Images. Pictured: J.D. Martinez.

  • Boston and Tampa bay play a series rubber match Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park.
  • The teams have combined for 40 runs in the first two games of the series, moving the total to 10.5 runs.
  • Jeff Hicks breaks down below whether there's value on the total, with the runs getting an added overnight hook.

Rays vs. Red Sox Odds

Rays Odds +110
Red Sox Odds -130
Over/Under 10.5
Time 4:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Wednesday via DraftKings.

How will the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays top Wednesday’s scoring fest of 28 combined runs?

The best stat from that game that carries importance for Thursday’s meeting is that the teams combined to use three relievers. Despite the late-afternoon start, it’s a quick turnaround for both as they recover from smacking the ball around Fenway Park.

The Rays are 6-5 against the Red Sox the season, winning five of the last seven games in the series.

Elite Bullpen, Consistent Offense Travel with Tampa

Drew Rasmussen is the opener for the Rays. He has pitched a maximum of three innings in an outing this season and has expected numbers below his 4.15 ERA. Rasmussen was acquired by the Rays in the Willy Adames deal and had 23 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings in AAA before joining the big club.

The Rays bullpen has the second-lowest ERA and lowest xFIP in baseball. The bullpen also is top 10 in Hard Hit percentage, HR/FB ratio and strikeout percentage.

The offense showed a late, desperate spark Wednesday. Producing on the road has been one of Tampa’s best qualities. The Rays have baseball’s best road wRC+ versus right-handed pitching. It will need to show up because Thursday’s starter is pitching like an ace. Like Eovaldi did Wednesday, Tanner Houck can shut down the best in a pinch.

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Youth Serves, Depth Preserves for Boston

Houck has been a pitching band-aid that has covered one of the wounds created in the pitching rotation. Despite going under five innings pitched in four of five starts, the 25-year old has maintained a sub-3.00 ERA. He is, however, allowing a .344 BABIP and has a worrisome 37.1% Hard Hit rate.

Houck has one relief appearance against the Rays in 2021. He struck out two in one inning of work.

The Red Sox bullpen could also see extra work. While not as dominant as the Rays pen, Boston’s is top 10 in HR/FB ratio, top 10 in GB/FB ratio and only two spots behind Tampa in strikeout percentage.

Six of Boston’s 12 batters had multi-hit games Wednesday while only one starter went hitless. The offense is deep and filled with talent. Fewer teams have a better top group of hitter and role players that take turns contributing.

Rays-Red Sox Pick

I would rather watch Rays-Red Sox than Yankees-Red Sox any day of the week. Both teams have done well compiling talented rosters and are rightfully battling for the top of the AL East.

The moneyline is close, and the teams could flip odds and I would not complain. I like both teams’ pitching options for the rubber match of this three-game series, and the books are giving me the total runs hook after being at 10 before Wednesday’s game went bananas.

Pick: Under 10.5 Runs (-110, bet to -120, with Rays ML in play if it goes past +115)

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