The MLB is set up with another great slate of playoff baseball throughout October 8. Four games will be up on the board throughout Friday. One of these matchups will be between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. These two teams have been strong all season and will look for a big win in Game 2. This game will throw the first pitch at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
Boston finished out the regular season with a record of 92-70, which had them sitting in second place of the AL East. The Red Sox faced off against the New York Yankees in the wild card round and were able to earn a big win in that one. Boston struggled to get the bats going early in this series though and will look to bounce back with a better performance on Friday.
The Rays put up a record of 100-62 throughout the season, which had them earn the top spot of the AL East and the American League. Tampa Bay finished out the regular season on a 7-3 run over their last ten games. The Rays did not miss a beat entering this season. Tampa Bay will now look to inch closer to the ALCS with another big win in this one.
These two teams have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win on Friday night. The Red Sox are coming off a tough loss in Game 1 and will look to switch things up. Tampa Bay will look to take a stranglehold on this series with another win at home. If either team can jump out to a big lead in this one, it could be enough for the win.
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Boston Red Sox||+1 ½ (-177)||+121||Over 7 ½ (+100)|
|Tampa Bay Rays||-1 ½ (+157)||-131||Under 7 ½ (-120)|
|Team Data||Boston Red Sox||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Away/ Home Record||43-38||52-29|
|Batting Average Away/ Home||.241||.241|
|ERA Away/ Home||3.95||2.93|
Boston Red Sox
- 30-30 when listed as an underdog
- 39-21 against run line as an underdog
- 22-24 as road underdog
- 36-34 after a loss
- 4-1 in October
- 19-6 when playing on Friday
- 42-36 against the division
- 64-42 in night games
Tampa Bay Rays
- 69-34 when favored this season
- 54-49 against run line as favorite
- 46-19 as home favorite
- 68-32 after a win
- 3-1 in October
- 18-8 when playing on Friday
- 52-25 against the division
- 60-42 in night games
These two teams met up 19 times throughout the regular season. Tampa Bay was able to win the season series with a record of 11-8 against the Red Sox. The Rays outscored Boston 106-104 in those games as well. Tampa Bay opened up this series with a big 5-0 win. The Rays jumped out to a lead early and were able to hold on to take a big 1-0 lead in this series.
The Red Sox were strong at the plate throughout the regular season. Boston earned a batting average of .261, which was 3rd in the MLB. The Red Sox also put up a .777 OPS, which was also 3rd in the league. Boston hit in 829 runs on the season, which was 5th in the MLB.
Tampa Bay was solid hitting the ball on the regular season. The Rays put up a .242 batting average, which was 14th in the league. Tampa Bay posted an OPS of .749, which was 10th in the MLB. The Rays scored 857 runs, which was 2nd in the league this season.
Boston had the edge at the bat throughout the regular season, but will need to get it going in this one. The Red Sox have a lefty starting on the mound, while Tampa Bay will be going with a right hander. The Rays earned a BA of .247 and a .743 OPS against left handers in the regular season. Boston put up a .260 batting average and an OPS of .788 against righties.
I expect Chris Sale to get the start on the mound for Boston in this one. Sale earned a record of 5-1 throughout his 9 regular season starts. He posted a 3.16 ERA and a WHIP of 1.34 in those matchups as well. Sale has played in seven postseason games, going 1-2 in those outings. He has an ERA of 5.76 and a 1.32 WHIP in his postseason performances entering Friday’s action.
— Boston Globe Sports (@BGlobeSports) October 8, 2021
Shane Baz will likely get the nod at pitcher for the Rays on Friday night. Baz started three games in the regular season, going 2-0 in those nods. He put up an ERA of 2.03 and a WHIP of 0.68 throughout his limited starts. Baz pitched two and two thirds innings in his last start against the New York Yankees. He gave up a hit and a run in the no decision.
Baz will make his postseason debut in this one, while Sale will look to step up in his fifth postseason start. Tampa Bay had the edge in the bullpen in the regular season. The Rays relievers posted a 3.24 ERA, which was 3rd in the league. Boston’s bullpen earned an ERA of 3.99, which was 13th in the MLB.
The Red Sox got off to a slow start to open up this postseason, but I think they can bounce back here in Game 2. Boston has Chris Sale starting on the mound for them, while Tampa Bay will be going with a rookie. Sale has struggled in the past in the playoffs, but I think he can come out hot in this one. If the Red Sox can get some hits early, I like their chances to tie this series up.
BetOnline has Tampa Bay listed as a -131 against the money line. This implies that the Rays will win this game around 56.7 percent of the time. I think that this line should be closer to even with how well these two teams matched up in the regular season. Boston is coming off a tough loss on Thursday, but I like their chances to bounce back. As underdogs in this one, the value on the Red Sox is great.