Upcoming Match-ups

Red Sox vs Rays Odds, Picks, and Probable Pitchers

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in MLB Baseball

Aug 1, 2021 · 6:35 AM PDT

Tampa Bay player shakes head of catcher
Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Manuel Margot (13) celebrates with catcher Francisco Merjia after the Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox in a baseball game Saturday, July 31, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
  • The Tampa Bay Rays are -150 home favorites over the Boston Red Sox in the Sunday night MLB game on August 1
  • Tampa Bay has won four in a row from Boston
  • Overall, the Red Sox are 1-4 in their past five games – see below for our preview and prediction

The battle for supremacy in the American League East continues Sunday as the Tampa Bay Rays (63-42, 33-20 home) seek to maintain their mastery over the Boston Red Sox (63-43-, 30-21 away).

Tampa Bay has won three in a row from Boston and will look to complete a sweep of this three-game weekend series. Saturday’s 9-5 victory pushed the Rays ahead of the Red Sox by a half-game atop the AL East.

The BoSox have hit a bit of a skid. They’ve lost three in a row and four of their last five games.

The Rays are being listed as the -150 home favorites in Sunday’s game. Tampa Bay is 27-12 this season as a home favorite. That’s a 69.2% win rate.

Red Sox vs Rays Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
Boston Red Sox +130 +1.5 (-155) O 8.5 (-110)
Tampa Bay Rays -150 -1.5 (+135) U 8.5 (-110)

Odds as of August 1st at DraftKings.

Sunday’s game is set for a 7:08pm ET first pitch. The forecast is for clear skies, 8 mph wind and a temperature of 60 degrees. ESPN is broadcasting the game.

Pivetta vs McClanahan

Nick Pivetta
Shane McClanahan

8-4 Record 4-4
4.51 ERA 3.93
3.99 xERA 3.91
1.33 WHIP 1.31
2.50 SO/W Ratio 3.36

Nick Pivetta isn’t merely pitching for first place on Sunday. He’s pitching to defend his place in the Red Sox starting rotation. Former AL Cy Young Award winner Chris Sale  is likely two more rehab starts away from returning to the Boston lineup from the IL. Someone will need to give way in the rotation and lately, it’s Pivetta who is scuffling.

In his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, the right-hander surrendered four runs over 4.2 innings. He gave up 11 hits and four earned runs over seven innings during his previous trip to the mound. Pivetta has two wins in 10 starts since the end of May.

It could be that Pivetta is running out of gas. The 107.2 innings he’s pitched this season are the most he’s worked since 2018. Pivetta allowed just three home runs through his first eight starts. He’s served up a dozen long balls over his past 12 starts. He’s 1-0 in two starts against Tampa Bay this season.

McClanahan is following a similar trajectory. The rookie left-hander is 2-4 in nine starts since the end of May after going unbeaten (2-0) through the first two months of the season. The Rays are 3-6 in McClanahan’s last nine starts.

On the other hand, all three of McClanahan’s quality starts have been delivered during his past six trips to the mound. He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start since June 2. McClanahan is 4-1 at home, although his ERA is higher at home (3.99) than on the road (3.86).

Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers

Rays Batters Batting Average vs Pivetta Yankees Batters Batting Average vs McClanahan
Randy Arozarena .250 Jonathan Aruaz .000
Ji-Man Cho .000 Xander Bogaerts .000
Nelson Cruz .000 Franchy Cordero .000
Yandy Diaz .000 Bobby Dalbec .000
Wander Franco .000 Rafael Devers .000
Kevin Kiermaier .000 Jarren Duran .000
Brandon Lowe .000 Enrique Hernandez .000
Manuel Margot .111 JD Martinez .000
Austin Meadows .000 Kevin Plawecki .000
Francisco Mejia .000 Hunter Renfroe .000
Brett Phillips .000 Christian Vazquez .000
Joey Wendle .000 Alex Verdugo .000
Mike Zunino .000

There’s very little to choose from when it comes to past history of hitters against either starting pitcher in Sunday’s game. Tampa Bay outfielder Randy Arozarena is 1-for-4 at the plate against Pivetta. Outfielder Manuel Margot is 1-for-9 (.111) is the only other player in the Rays lineup who’s reached base safely off of Pivetta.

No Red Sox hitter has ever stepped into the batter’s box to face McClanahan.

Red Sox vs Rays Picks

It’s been almost year since the Rays swept a series from the Red Sox. That was a four-game set Aug. 10-13 at Fenway Park. The last time they swept a set at Tropicana Park was a three-game series from Aug. 24-26, 2018.

Tampa Bay is 10-5 through the past 15 games. The Rays are 5-2 in their last seven home games. Their bullpen ERA since the all-star break is 1.87.

Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (-150).

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