The Tampa Bay Rays (41-19) and the Boston Red Sox (30-28) will play the third game of their four-game divisional series on Sunday, June 4. First pitch from Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts is set for 1:35 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay will start rookie Taj Bradley (3-2, 3.60 ERA), while Boston counters with righty Tanner Houck (3-4, 5.30 ERA).
The Rays are the narrow -115 favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Red Sox are technically underdogs, despite -105 odds, and the run total is set at 9.5.
Rays-Red Sox picks: Sunday, June 4
Day to day: 1B Luke Raley (side), SS Wander Franco (shoulder)
Out: SP Josh Fleming (elbow), RP Pete Fairbanks (hip)
Day to Day: RP Joely Rodriguez (biceps)
Out: Chris Sale (shoulder), RP John Schreiber (lat), RP Richard Bleier (shoulder), 2B Christian Arroyo (hamstring), SS Yu Chang (wrist/hand)
Taj Bradley vs. Tanner Houck
Bradley will be starting the seventh game of his career on Sunday. After three starts in April, he was sent back down to the Minors, but due to injuries in the rotation, he was brought back up in mid-May. Bradley’s last start saw him pitch 5.2 innings against the Chicago Cubs. He allowed an unearned run on three hits while striking out eight and walking one.
Typically a reliever, Houck has been converted to a starter this season. He will be making his 11th start of the season on Sunday. Houck had a consistent April but was all over the place in May. His last start saw him pitch four innings and allow four earned runs on six hits. Houck struck out four but took the fourth loss of his season.
The first two games of this series were played in a doubleheader on Saturday. Game one had 13 combined runs scored, while game two had just six. The opener saw the Tampa Bay bullpen implode while Boston gave up two runs in the top of the 9th in Game two, giving the Rays the series equalizer. With this pitching matchup, I am taking the over, despite it needing double-digits scored.
Pick: Over 9.5
Neither of these starters gives their team a huge upside when on the mound. Tampa Bay has lost the last three games that Bradley has started, while Boston has dropped the last four started by Houck. I think there is a better chance for Bradley to have a good outing on the mound, and if he can get some early run support, the Rays should take game three of the series on Sunday.