The Red Sox lost two straight games, but didn’t let it go on any longer. Boston defeated the Rays to get back on track and avoid hitting a losing streak. They haven’t had many this season, not lately anyway, as they’ve won seven of their last eight games. They’ve surpassed the Yankees as the top dog in the American League East and are playing their best baseball of the year. The Red Sox are a weird bunch. One year they can’t do anything and miss out on the postseason, and then the next they’re looking like a true contender for the World Series.
This season, the Red Sox are slotted in as favorites again. It actually took this team a little while to heat up offensively, but now that they’re swinging their bats effectively, they haven’t been letting up. It took some time for this team to gel without David Ortiz in the lineup. Understandably so, it must have been a weird feeling without such an imposing figure in the locker room. The Red Sox are finding their way, though, and the youngsters are beginning to step up and contribute.
Now that the Red Sox found their mojo, I think there’s going to be no looking back for them. I expect them to be right there alongside the Astros as favorites to win the American League. The Astros put on a brilliant display last night in Toronto, beating the Blue Jays for a final score of 12-2. A guy the Red Sox would be glad to get going is right-hander, Rick Porcello.
Porcello hasn’t been playing at a level he’d hope to, with his numbers slipping from a Cy Young year in 2016, a year which saw him go 22-4. Porcello already has 10 losses and we’re note even at the All-Star Break yet, so yeah, things have changed a bit. Nevertheless, with the Red Sox in 1st, they haven’t needed him to pitch like a Cy Young winner, yet. When the calendar rolls around to September, a hot Porcello would be a huge boost to their cause. Porcello gets the start today against Alex Cobb of the Rays. Get our free Red Sox vs. Rays pick below.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Rick Porcello (4-10, 5.01 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (6-6, 4.01 ERA)
Porcello was magical last season, and the money the Red Sox spent to bring him to Boston paid off. Thus far in 2017, though, it’d appear that Porcello is laying back and living off what he did last season. In any event, there is ample time for him to come back and make a difference. Porcello owns a record of 5-1 in Tampa, so he hasn’t had many issues pitching here. Conversely, Alex Cobb has not liked pitching against this lineup.
Note that Cobb has a .283 BA against the current Red Sox lineup. Xander Bogaerts is hitting .500 with 4 hits in 9 at-bats against him. Hanley Ramirez is hitting .375 and Christian Vasquez has a batting average of .667 against Cobb. He’s allowed 7 earned runs against the Red Sox in two starts this season for a 5.56 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. Likewise, the Rays have hit Porcello for a 9.58 ERA and 1.84 WHIP this year. Just like our pick last night, I like the runs to pile up on the scoreboard.
PICK: OVER 9 (-110)