MLB Rays vs. Red Sox Odds, Picks: ALDS Game 4 Betting Preview (October 11)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Eduardo Rodriguez
- The Red Sox are favored to eliminate the Rays and advance to the ALCS tonight at Fenway Park.
- Boston will rely on Eduardo Rodriguez to get the job done, while it'll be a bullpen day for Tampa led by Collin McHugh.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.
Rays vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-108|
|Over/Under||9 (-122 / +100)|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Just a game away from the ALCS, the Red Sox are in a position that few thought they’d be in before the season, and even fewer thought possible just a couple of months ago.
Now, Boston is not only at home with a 2-1 series lead, it will throw one of its best arms at Tampa Bay, who won’t have many fresh arms to offer in its own right, and may need to lean on the goats of Game 2.
So, are the Red Sox the play here? Let’s take a look at the numbers below.
Rays’ Arms Are Exhausted
Entering the postseason, it seemed as if there was nothing stopping this Rays pitching staff. After all, they had the third-best bullpen ERA in the second half of the season, and exciting youngsters Shane McClanahan and Shane Baz were providing good innings on the front-end of games.
Well, that seems to be a thing of the past, at least as it pertains to this game. The Rays just used a whopping eight relief pitchers in a marathon 13-inning game on Sunday night after Drew Rasmussen was only able to give them two innings.
The arms were generally effective, though everyone aside from Matt Wisler and J.P. Feyereisen gave up at least two baserunners. With that said, Tampa Bay will now be asking many of those guys to go on back-to-back nights, if possible, in what will work out to be another bullpen game.
Of course, Kevin Cash has two relievers who can give this team length, and he should lean on them, at least initially. Collin McHugh will start and should go multiple innings, and you’d expect Michael Wacha to pitch as well. That’s a scary proposition, considering the two of them combined to allow nine earned runs in Game 2. While you’d expect Wacha to flop, the McHugh performance was shocking and concerning. He did pitch 64 innings this season, and perhaps the workload is catching up with him at 34 years old.
This Rays team has improved against left-handed pitching, but still struggled with strikeouts at a 25.6% clip. That could make for a troublesome matchup against Eduardo Rodriguez on paper, though this offense did have success against him earlier in the season.
Red Sox Offense Clicking At The Right Time
I touched on this when I previewed Game 1, but I am a big Eduardo Rodriguez believer. He was a big disappointment in the first half, but his 7-3 record with a 3.71 ERA and low 2.89 FIP in the second half of the season is certainly worth buying into.
The left-hander carried a 3.55 expected ERA this season according to Statcast, so many expected a positive regression and should reasonably expect Rodriguez to pitch better than his 4.74 ERA.
Simply put, Rodriguez could be the best starting pitcher this team has right now, though you could also make that argument about Nathan Eovaldi with the way he’s pitched in this October.
The 28-year-old has historically struggled in the postseason and didn’t fare well against the Rays earlier in this series, but his career-high 10.6 strikeouts per nine should make him a good matchup with a team that’s had some swing-and-miss issues and also prefers to hit righties.
This Red Sox lineup is fully ignited once again, too, after a lull in July. They finished the season with the fifth-best wRC+ in September and October and are coming off two huge nights at the plate in Games 2 and 3. With so much pitching uncertainty on the other side, you should expect another big night.
Rays-Red Sox Pick
Rodriguez has historically struggled in the postseason, but I don’t think he was of the quality in those past appearances that he is right now. The strikeout stuff has developed beautifully, making him a tantalizing option against this whiff-happy Rays team. I think, at the very least, that Rodriguez can hold the Rays to a few runs while Boston tees off on this Rays staff.
Tampa Bay’s arms will be gassed here, with its starting pitching philosophy blowing up in its face a little bit. It turns out that you may need some starting pitching, and while the Rays thought they could get some length from their rookies and Drew Rasmussen, they didn’t.
Boston should get on the board early and often, and I think Rodriguez should return to the guy he was at the end of the season.
Pick: Red Sox (-108)