The Tampa Bay Rays had their best chance to beat the Boston Red Sox yesterday, but were unable to get to Clay Buchholz. Buchholz has had a horrendous showing this season, but he looked like his former self last night against the Rays. The Rays scored only 1 run and the Red Sox offense did enough, scoring 2 runs and picking up another win over the Rays. Tampa were winners in six of seven games before they met the Red Sox, and now they are in danger of losing three in a row.
It is almost like they took their foot off the gas pedal after beating the Rangers convincingly in back-to-back games. I suppose that could be easy to do for a team that is around 20 games back of .500 and the end of the season is right around the corner.
The Rays were favorites last night with Chris Archer on the mound, but they weren’t able to take advantage of the favorable pitching matchup. The Rays aren’t going to have the advantage in that category tonight, as Rick Porcello looks to continue his torrid pace against the Rays on Wednesday night. Porcello has heat up at the right time for the Red Sox, who need all of the help they can get to win the American League East. Whether they win the division or not, it’s looking like the Red Sox will be able to secure a spot in the Wild Card.
That’s a play-in game, so I’m sure the Red Sox best want to avoid messing around and just win the division. Porcello has been playing pretty good throughout the year, but has been at his apex in recent weeks. The Red Sox are finally getting a return on their investment with him. If he can continue this all the way through September, the Red Sox should be in fine shape. He’s done a tremendous job picking up the slack for David Price. It’ll be Porcello against Matt Andriese tonight at The Trop.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Rick Porcello (17-3, 3.22 ERA) vs. Matt Andriese (6-5, 3.66 ERA)
When you have a record of 17-3, needless to say, everything is going your way. Porcello is basking in the most impressive stretch of his career in the majors, but the job isn’t doing yet for the Red Sox, it’s just beginning as the postseason race heats up with each passing day. Porcello has looked as good and healthy as ever, something they’re going to need for him to keep doing. Following the win yesterday, the Red Sox moved into a tie with the Blue Jays at 71-54. This is one of those games the Red Sox have to keep it up, a game they are expected to win. Porcello has posted a 1.64 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in his last three starts, impressive for the right-hander in his eighth season.
Matt Andriese has bounced between the bullpen and starting rotation, with his last few appearances coming as a starter. His life as a starter hasn’t been the best of times for him. He’s gotten dinged for a total of 11 runs in his last two starts. Andriese holds a 8.40 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his last three starts. He hasn’t been able to get past the 5th inning this year. It’s hard not to ride on the Porcello train against Andriese. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, and right now, Porcello is a well-oiled machine on the mound. I’m going to grab a piece of the Red Sox for Wednesday.
PICK: RED SOX TO WIN -150