The Boston Red Sox continue their quest for the postseason tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tigers temporarily put a stop to their fun yesterday, putting a 10-5 hurt on them. However, this was after the Red Sox were able to take two wins on the weekend in Detroit. They’ve gone 9-2 in their last eleven games, so the loss represents a microcosm across the last two weeks. The Red Sox are playing good baseball and it would be a shame if they at the least earn a Wild Card berth, which is looking like a likely scenario. The Blue Jays are on top at the moment by a sliver, up on the Red Sox by 0.5 games. Toronto has had a narrow advantage the past week, but in a division so close, and a lot of baseball left this season, there is no clear argument of who is going to win the American League East.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been playing their best baseball of the season, and it comes at a time where it’s too late to make up for their atrocious start. The season was supposed to play out something like that, but they were late bloomers in 2016. Perhaps it’s something to be happy about, knowing they are capable of playing this well. The Rays looked great against a solid Texas time, defeating them 8-2 and 8-4 the last two days.
Tampa has been successful in six of their last seven games, bringing their record to 53-70 on the year. You can see how rocky the great majority of the season has been for the Rays. They looked strong against the Rangers, and they’re going to have another stiff challenge now against the Red Sox. The Rays will be faced with former Ray, David Price, as he makes a return to where it all began in Florida.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
David Price (11-8, 4.19 ERA) vs. Blake Snell (4-5, 3.06 ERA)
David Price has been anything but special with his new team in 2016, but he’s been cleaning up some stuff lately. He has looked much better. Remember how he was getting rocked start after start over the first month of the season? Yeah, that’s a thing of the past for Price. While he still hasn’t looked like the ace we’ve seen in the past, Price isn’t going out there and getting embarrassed. Are the Red Sox earning their money on him? No, because I don’t think this division would be close if he were pitching well. Price enters tonight with an ERA of 4.19, including a 3.32 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in his last three starts. Price completely foiled in his last meeting against them on the 10th of July, giving up 0 runs and 4 hits, it was his best start of 2016. The Rays’ bats have been hitting well, is he going to be able to slow his former team down?
Blake Snell will look to slow the Red Sox down, who have been destroying the ball consistently throughout the year. Snell has escaped some big damage of late and is thankful that his ERA isn’t higher than it is. In his last three appearances, Snell posted a 3.00 ERA, but look at his WHIP of 2.00. He walked 10 batters in those games. Snell got out of trouble frequently and it doesn’t appear that he was in command. Do that against the Red Sox, and they’re going to make you pay. Price was flawless against the Rays in his last start, but he’s been dinged by them historically, a poor 5.11 ERA. The way I see it, the total is a bit too low here. At a minimum, I thought the OVER would be juiced, but we’re actually getting plus-money. I’m going to jump on board, as I see the runs piling up at The Trop in Tampa.
PICK: OVER 7.5 RUNS (+105)