The first day of the baseball season also came with our first bad beat of the baseball season! We backed the Boston Red Sox and their ace starter Chris Sale, against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Everything was going according to plan until the eighth inning. Heading into the eighth the Red Sox held a nice 4-0 lead. Sale was dominant, he pitched six shutout innings, allowing only one hit. The Sox were well on their way to their first win of the season, and then Joe Kelley came in out of the bullpen and couldn’t throw a strike.
Kelley walked four batters, and got rocked for four runs, while recording just one out. Carsen Smith came in to try and limit the damage for Boston, but he got touched up as well, and just like that the Red Sox lead was gone.
Tampa held on in the ninth for the 6-4 victory. It was a shocking come from behind win for a Rays team that probably isn’t going to win too many games this year.
For today’s pick, we stay right here in Tampa Bay and break down game two of the series.
The Boston Red Sox are in Tampa Bay tonight looking to avenge last night’s loss to the Rays. The Red Sox will send former Cy Young award winner David Price (0-0 0.00 ERA) to the mound to square off against Tampa Bay youngster Blake Snell (0-0 0.00 ERA).
The Red Sox are -148 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 7.5 runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Tropicana Field.
So, I spent most of my pick yesterday trashing the Tampa Bay Rays. They let almost all of their talent leave in the offseason and are clearly not at all focused on winning this season. Then in one-third of the eighth inning last night, they made me eat my own words as they blasted the Red Sox bullpen for six runs. Well, guess what? I still think that the Rays stink!
They got handed the gift of Joe Kelley not being able to find the strike zone, but nothing about that game made me believe this team was anything different than what I thought they were coming into the game.
The prior seven innings before Kelley decided to give the game away? The Rays managed just one hit and struck out nine times. That is much more of what this Rays team will be doing this year than the explosion in the eighth.
This just isn’t an offense that is going to be able to score runs like that very often. Good for them for picking up the win last night, but rest assured this Rays team will be doing a lot of losing this year.
David Price has gotten a lot of bad press since moving to the Red Sox. Maybe its because he got such a massive contract, seven years and 217 million dollars. Maybe it is because he looked basically unhittable in 2015, the year before he signed with the Red Sox, and hasn’t yet matched those expectations in Beantown.
Between stops in Detroit and Toronto, Price went 18-5 with an ERA of just 2.45 in 2015. Or maybe it is just the Boston media that always wants to win and win now. Between the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics, this fan base loves to win.
Whatever the case may be, Price is getting some hate that I am not sure he fully deserves. 2016 was an off year for the big man, but even then, he won 17 games. Most pitchers would love to win 17 games in their ‘off” years.
His ERA was a bit inflated but still under 4.00, and his strikeout rate and WHIP were right in line with his career numbers. Then last season Price was never fully healthy and made only eleven starts. In those eleven starts, he went 6-3 with an ERA of just 3.30. Those are solid numbers, yet the media still hates.
I like David Price, a lot. He is a strong workhorse type of guy that has proven he can get you big wins when his team needs them. Assuming he stays healthy this year, I expect a big bounce-back year for Price. That starts tonight against this weak Rays lineup.
I see Price’s start going a lot like Sale’s did last night. I don’t see the Rays being able to string many hits together and expect them to be swinging and missing a lot. If we had 2015 Price on the mound tonight, this number would be -275 or more. And I don’t think there really is all that much difference in the Price we are getting tonight than the one that was in his prime not long ago.
I see a lot of value in backing the much better team tonight, the Boston Red Sox. They should be fired up after getting embarrassed last night, and I expect them to get their revenge tonight.
Give me the Boston Red Sox -148 tonight!
The Bet: Boston Red Sox -148