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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 5/23/14

Boston Red Sox (20-26) at Tampa Bay Rays (20-28)

MLB Baseball: Friday, May 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm (Tropicana Field)

John Lackey (R) (5-3) (4.012) vs. Chris Archer (R) (3-2) (4.587)

The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -115 / Boston Red Sox +105 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NESN, SUN

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox face off on Friday at Tropicana Field for game one of their AL East series.

The Tampa Bay Rays are in last place in the AL East but they are known as slow starters over the years. The Rays are 9-14 at home this season, 4-6 in their last 10 games, and they are eight games under .500. As a team the Rays are hitting .246 with James Loney hitting .310, Matt Joyce is hitting .278, and Yunel Escobar is hitting .265. The Rays pitching staff has an ERA of 4.11 with the starters at 4.11 and the bullpen at 4.11. For game one against the Red Sox the Rays start Chris Archer who has struggled but he won his last start. For the season Archer has allowed 54 hits and 26 runs while striking out 41 over 51 innings for a 3-2 record and a 4.59 ERA.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 5/23/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are in an outright tailspin and have little resemblance to the team that won the World Series last season. The Red Sox are 10-9 on the road, 2-8 in their last 10 games, and they have lost seven games in a row. As a team the Red Sox re hitting .246 with Xander Bogaerts hitting .282, Dustin Pedroia hitting .277, and David Ortiz hitting .275. The Boston pitching staff has an ERA of 3.89 with the starters at 4.37 and the bullpen at 2.99. For game one against the Rays the Red Sox start John Lackey who was tagged with a loss in his last start. For the season Lackey has allowed 62 hits and 26 earned runs while striking out 56 over 58.1 innings for a 5-3 record and a 4.01 ERA.

Tampa Bay is 3-9 against a team with a losing record, 3-9 I their last 12 home games, and 1-4 in Archer’s last five starts as a favorite. Boston is 2-5 on the road against a team with a losing record, 0-7 in their last seven games, and 1-5 in Lackey’s last six starts as an underdog. Boston is 7-3 in their last 10 games in Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox are free falling and I am not going to reach out to try and catch them here.

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Tampa Bay Rays -115

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