Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Odds & Pick
After taking the first two games of the four-game series, the Rays look for more when the teams meet again Wednesday night in St. Pete. The Rays are hot again and running away with the AL East, while Boston, after playing so well for most of this season, seems to be leaking oil here down the stretch. Lefty Chris Sale, who's been great since returning from injury, hopes to stem the tide for the Sox here against Drew Rassmussen for Tampa. How are we playing this game with our free baseball betting pick?
MLB Betting Odds
Wednesday's baseball betting lines opened Boston and Sale at upwards of -150 for this game, with an over/under of eight runs. Early betting action then steamed Tampa into a -110 favorite.
MLB Betting Preview
The Rays won the opener of this series Monday night 6-1, then took Tuesday's game 8-5. Tampa won as a -145 favorite Monday, then at -160 Tuesday.
With Tuesday's win, the Rays own a nine-game winning streak and a 19-4 run over their last 23 games. At 84-48 overall, which is now tied with San Francisco for the best record in Baseball, Tampa leads the AL East by eight games over the second-place Yankees and ten games over third-place Boston.
With Tuesday's loss, Boston is 5-5 over its last ten games, and while it still owns the second American League wild-card spot at the moment, it's only one game ahead of Oakland.
The Rays lead the season series with the Sox nine games to five.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Rasmussen worked out of the bullpen most of this season but made three straight starts recently on a short leash. Last Wednesday, he held Philadelphia to one run and four hits through five innings of a 3-1 Tampa victory, and over his previous three starts, he's allowed just two runs and six hits through 13 innings.
The Rays are 4-1 when Rasmussen starts this year, and he can claim some credit for that.
In his only career start against Boston, three weeks ago at Fenway Park, Rasmussen allowed one run through four frames of an 8-1 Tampa win.
Sale just returned from TJ surgery last season and is doing good things so far. Last Friday, he held Minnesota to two runs and two hits through 5 1/3 innings of a 12-2 Sox win, and over his three starts, he's allowed just four runs and 13 hits through 15 1/3 innings with three walks against 21 strikeouts.
Boston is 3-0 with Sale this year, favored by huge numbers each time out.
Over his last two starts against Tampa Bay, both back in 2019, Sale allowed four earned runs and eight hits through 13 innings. The Red Sox split those two games.
Splits With the Sticks
Boston is batting .257 against right-handed pitching this season, with a .324 team OBP and a .453 team slugging percentage.
Tampa is slashing .235/.313/.396 against left-handed pitching.
- Get more details: Boston at Tampa Bay 9/1/21 Game Matchup Stats
The Boston bullpen owns a 4.00 ERA this season, along with a 1.40 WHIP and a 2.35 K/BB ratio.
The Tampa pen owns a 3.11 ERA, which ranks No. 1 in the Majors, a 1.12 WHIP, and a 3.38 K/BB ratio, which also ranks No. 1.
MLB Betting Trends
- Boston is 34-33 on the road this season.
- Tampa is 43-23 at home.
- Boston is 49-34 against right-handed starters this season.
- Tampa is 30-21 against left-handed starters.
Unders are 70-59 in Red Sox games this season.
Overs are 74-54 in Rays games.
Overs are 10-4 in Red Sox-Rays games this season.
Red Sox vs. Rays Prediction 9/1/21
The oddsmakers certainly seemed to buy into Sale's return, but we, apparently like much of the betting public, remain a bit wary. We'll need a little bigger sample size to make a call. Also, Tampa is hot while Boston is struggling a bit, and momentum means a ton to us when handicapping baseball games. Plus, the Rays are scoring a bunch of runs, and their bullpen is just super. We're taking Tampa for our free baseball betting pick for Wednesday.