Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/31/14
Boston Red Sox (59-76) at Tampa Bay Rays (66-70)
MLB Baseball: Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 1:40 pm (Tropicana Field)
Clay Buchholz (R) (5-8) (5.772) vs. Alex Cobb (R) (9-6) (3.055)
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -155 / Boston Red Sox +145 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: NESN, SUN
The Tampa Bay Rays host the Boston Red Sox four game three of their four game weekend series in the AL East.
The Boston Red Sox haven’t had the follow up they were looking for after winning the World Series last season as the losing just continues to mount for the struggling franchise. Boston has lost seven of its last ten games and currently sits 19.5 games back in an AL East division they’ve become accustomed to competing for. Last night in Tampa, the Red Sox were shut out 7-0 as starting pitcher Allen Webster allowed six runs on five hits over just four innings and the Sox bats mustered just a single hit from Will Middlebrooks as Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Yoenis Cespedes all went hitless in the loss.
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Clay Buchholz will take the mound for the Sox on Sunday in hopes of building on a strong start last time out that turned sour in the ninth inning. Buchholz was cruising for eight frames against the Blue Jays in his latest start but might have pushed himself a bit far to try and finish the game, eventually getting tagged with allowing three game-tying runs in the ninth that the Red Sox would end up overcoming in extra innings. For the season Buchholz has struggled immensely as he enters this game with a WHIP of 1.50 and ERA of 5.77 while posting a 5-8 record. The righty Buchholz has not faced the Rays this season but has been slightly better in road starts with an ERA of 4.56 across 11 starts.
The Tampa Bay Rays are an unlikely candidate to make a signature late season run as they currently sit four games below .500 and eight games back of a Wild Card berth. The Rays were still able to stick it to a division rival last night though in a dominating 7-0 win where Jake Odorizzi pitched seven innings of one hit ball. The offense was alive in the win, efficiently converting on seven hits as Ben Zobrist had two RBI’s, James Loney had an RBI double, Ryan Hannigan had two hits and an RBI, and Brandon Guyer had two hits.
Alex Cobb will make the start for the Rays on Sunday looking to rebound from a start where he labored and only lasted four innings against the Orioles while conceding two runs. Prior to struggling to cruise through a potent Orioles lineup, Cobb was on a roll pitching at least five innings in his previous nine starts. For the season Cobb has a WHIP of 1.16 and ERA of 3.06 while posting a 9-6 record across 21 starts. The righty Cobb has been his best at home with an ERA of 2.86 across 10 starts; he has not faced Boston this season.
While Buchholz has shown flashes of his old self in recent months I still don’t trust him which has me swallowing the juice on the home side in a game that’s probably not worth adding to your betting slip.