Tampa Bay Rays (1-5) at Boston Red Sox (5-1)
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The Line: Boston Red Sox -240 / Tampa Bay Rays +220 --- Over/Under: 8.5
Coming up on Thursday from historic Fenway Park, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox will be kicking off their MLB series.
Tampa is coming off a series versus the Yankees. The Rays lost in Tuesday’s matchup, then fell again on Wednesday 7-2.
The Rays are set to be going with one of their “bullpen days” on Thursday. That means Yonny Chirinos will get the call. It’s Chirinos’ first big-league start, and he’s got four scoreless innings under his belt this year.
Leading the way in hitting coming into Wednesday for the Rays was Matt Duffy, with six hits and two RBI. In the Wednesday game, there wasn’t much offense going on but Daniel Robertson put up an RBI.
Over on the Red Sox’ side, they just played two versus the Marlins. Boston won both of those games 7-3 and 4-2, then had a day off Wednesday.
The powerful lefty David Price is going to be taking the mound for the Sox on Thursday. In his one start this year, Price put up a win with 7.0 innings, four hits, five strikeouts and no earned.
Xander Bogaerts is the top hitter for the Red Sox so far, with 10 hits, five runs, five doubles, a homer and two RBI. Rafael Devers is also off to a nice start with seven hits, three doubles and five RBI to his credit.
The Rays are 5-2 in their last seven Thursday games and 2-7 in their last nine during game one of a series. Tampa is also 0-5 in their last five overall and 0-4 in their last four following a loss.
Meanwhile, the Sox are 5-0 in their last five overall and 4-0 in their last four following a win. Boston is also 1-5 in their last six Thursday games and 1-5 in Price’s last six starts with five days’ rest.
I’m not necessarily a fan of the Rays’ “bullpen day” philosophy they’re employing this year, but I’ll give it some time to play out—I may eat my words at some point. That said, with a good offense like the Sox have—and a comfy home game for Boston—I can’t rationalize picking the Rays’ way, even with the big payoff on a thick line. I’m going Red Sox.