Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (0-1, 8.00 ERA)
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays open a short two-game series on Tuesday at the Trop. The Rays were expected to be something this season, but isn’t that the truth every season? They are always a trendy pick to breakout in the AL East and they don’t live up to expectations. I don’t know if that trend is going to continue in 2020, but it sure looks like the Rays are an average outfit so far. They head into Tuesday with a record of 4-6 after getting swept by the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles beat the Rays 6-3, 5-4, and 5-1 for an impressive weekend. Tampa were the favorites in every game, though the Orioles pushed back with terrific efficiency. If the playoffs were to begin today, the Orioles would be in the postseason with a record of 5-3. Anything can happen in a 60-game with an expanded playoff. That includes the O’s with an opportunity to play postseason baseball. It sounds like an outlandish claim, but this is the year 2020. Expect the unexpected.
I’m expecting the Rays to fail to live up to expectations again. The Rays have some talent that is going to go to waste if they can’t manage to do deep in the playoffs. Tyler Glasnow might be the ace of the club after Charlie Morton and Blake Snell have looked ordinary so far. I find Snell to be incredibly overrated, so can’t say that I’m shocked he isn’t throwing darts on the hill. However, Morton hasn’t gotten off to the best start and is expected to be better than we’ve seen thus far. Morton is scheduled to get his third start of the season on Tuesday against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox head into Tampa with a record of 3-7. I know some people would be surprised by that, but what do the Red Sox have actually that separates them from anybody? Not much especially with Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez gone for the season. The Red Sox were hoping to get Rodriguez back after his Covid-19 diagnosis, but his heart is not in shape to be playing baseball right now. Shutting it down until next season is the best idea for Rodriguez. Eovaldi has become the No. 1 pitcher by default for the Red Sox. He’s expected to get the starting nod against the Rays in the first game. Head below for our free Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays pick for August 4, 2020.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction:
Charlie Morton will be tasked with getting the Rays back on track Tuesday night. Morton is supposed to be the ace of the ballclub, but he has not been acting as their best hurler since getting back on the field. His main issue has to do with his velocity. Morton depends on zip on his ball. If that’s down then Morton is a rather ordinary pitcher.
That’s been the case for Morton so far. He typically tops out at around just under 95 mph, but his ball has been clocked at under 93 mph in 2020. It’s not tough to hit Morton if that’s what he is serving up on the hill. It has equated to an ERA of 8.00 and 1.67 WHIP in 9 innings. The Blue Jays and Braves hit a combined .342 against Morton.
Morton has recorded an ERA under 4.00 in three straight seasons. In other words, it’d be a surprise to see Morton continue to struggle like this. Having said that, nothing is going to change if Morton can’t get his velocity back up. The Red Sox current roster has combined for 17 runs against Morton in 146 at-bats. Xander Bogaerts has been particularly impressive against Morton, with a .385 average and .407 OBP in 26 at-bats.
Nathan Eovaldi has been thrust into the No. 1 role with the Red Sox, and it’s been so far so good for him. He’s been one of the bright spots on this 3-7 club. Eovaldi owns an ERA of 2.45 and 1.36 WHIP in 11 innings against the Mets and Orioles. He’s yielded 3 earned runs in 11 innings for a fairly nice run for Eovaldi.
He’s not winning a Cy Young or anything anytime soon, but Eovaldi is more than capable of keeping the Red Sox in this game. The Red Sox aren’t good this season, but the Rays are overrated. Laying nearly -150 on Morton who hasn’t found his velocity in 2020 doesn’t yield much value. You can find more value on the visitors at the Trop on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg.