The Boston Red Sox were ravished by the Tampa Bay Rays last night. A Rays team who were winless in their previous eleven games. The streak came to an end against the Red Sox, a 13-7 toppling at the hands of the Rays. Not much has gone the Rays way lately, but they certainly put on a display last night. The win brought the Rays to 32-43. Take away that 11 game skid and the Rays might be in decent shape, but things don’t work out that way. The Rays have put themselves in a hard position to comeback and contend for a postseason spot. Part of the problem, surprisingly, has been Chris Archer.
Archer has not looked like the ace we’ve seen in the past. He was looking to cement his mark as one of the best pitchers in baseball of the last few seasons, but thus far in 2016, it’s put a damper on things. He’ll try and respond against the heavy hitting Red Sox tonight. The Rays would love to erase that losing streak with a winning streak.
There is something in statistics known as variance, and with the Rays, you should expect them to regress back to their average. And what their average is, well, is being an average baseball team. .500 to just below .500 is the kind of team the Rays are. I don’t necessarily think these past eleven games are indicative of their complete body of work. It isn’t much to get excited about though, as like I just said, they are an average team who have some hills to climb, never mind the losing streak they’ve been on. Rick Porcello will get the call for the Red Sox, who find themselves in a bit of a mini-funk with a three-game losing streak under their belt. Porcello vs Archer tonight in Tampa at the Trop.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Rick Porcello (8-2, 3.93 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (4-10, 4.70 ERA)
Porcello has brought the Red Sox some good fortunes, as he has 8 wins on the year to only 2 losses. Porcello has been serviceable enough with a 3.93 ERA. I think what he is looking for, and the Red Sox organization, is something in the 3.30-3.50 ERA range, though. He wasn’t exactly a cheap option to sign after spending time with the Tigers for the entirety of his career. After a 3.43 ERA in 2014 with the Tigers, Porcello got hit pretty good for a 4.92 ERA. But note, the Red Sox signed him based solely off 2014. A bigger look would indicate that Porcello hasn’t had a year under 4.00 since 2009, which was his rookie season. He isn’t an awful pitcher by any means, but I think the Red Sox were hoping for more than he actually is. Porcello owns a 3.44 ERA in his last three starts, which is just where the Red Sox want him to be.
Porcello has enjoyed plenty of run support this season, so he is getting credit for that on the 8 wins. Archer hasn’t been getting run support or pitching well. He has a 4.70 ERA coming into tonight. Archer hasn’t really gotten too better, he’s been rather stagnant. The last time he allowed less than 3 runs was back on May 27th, six starts ago. He has a 4.58 ERA over his last three times on the mound. Archer has a high propensity of giving up long balls. Also, he has really struggled with the Red Sox across twelve starts, posting a 5.67 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. Look for the Red Sox to get the home run ball in motion and send the Rays right back to the loss column on Tuesday night.
PICK: RED SOX TO WIN -104