The Tampa Bay Rays (95-62) take on the Boston Red Sox (76-80) in the first game of a two-game series on Tuesday, September 26. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Fenway Park. Zach Eflin (15-8, 3.44 ERA) will take the mound for the Rays, and Tanner Houck (5-9, 4.92) will pitch for the Red Sox. The Rays have already clinched a playoff bid, but are looking for a division title this week if the Orioles stumble.
Tampa enters as -130 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Boston coming in at +110. The run total is set at 8.
Rays-Red Sox picks: Tuesday, September 26
Day-to-day: 1B/3B Yandy Diaz (hamstring)
Out: DH/1B Luke Raley (neck), OF Jose Siri (hand), 2B Brandon Lowe (knee), RP Jason Adam (oblique)
Out: INF Luis Urias (calf), 1B Triston Casas (shoulder), RP Joely Rodriguez (hip), SP James Paxton (knee)
Zach Eflin vs. Tanner Houck
Eflin has looked solid in his last few starts and has been able to keep his strikeout numbers high. In his most recent outing, he allowed two earned runs and recorded 10 Ks in five innings against the Angels. In his latest road start, he kept the Orioles to one earned run in seven innings and recorded eight strikeouts. Earlier this month, he let up three earned runs in five innings against the Red Sox.
Houck let up two earned runs in his latest start, a four-inning outing against the Rangers. In his most recent home start, he kept the Yankees runless over seven innings and recorded eight strikeouts. Earlier this season, he allowed four earned runs in a five-inning start against the Rays.
Both Eflin and Houck have looked very good on the mound as of late, and with several of the Rays’ more consistent batters out with injuries, I think it’s going to be an under kind of day. Expect a highly defensive matchup out of Boston here.
Pick: Under 8
This is going to be a close one. The Red Sox recently dropped two of three against the White Sox, and the Rays dropped two of three to the Blue Jays. I think the Red Sox can take this one — the Rays are missing a few of their biggest hitters, including Diaz, Raley, and Siri, and the Red Sox have home-field advantage here. Both pitchers have been performing well this month.
Pick: Red Sox +110