The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays square off on Wednesday with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Tropicana Field in Saint Petersburg, FL and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. The pitching matchup for this series finale will feature the Red Sox Nick Pivetta and the Rays’ Jeffrey Springs.
The Red Sox (67-70) have dropped their past two games after winning five in a row. Although Boston is all but officially eliminated from playoff contention, their offense has been causing problems for opponents recently; the Red Sox are batting .302 and averaging 5.2 runs per game over their previous 18. Reigning AL Player of the Week Xander Bogaerts has been the leader of that attack, but he is not expected to play tonight after leaving Tuesday’s game early due to back spasms. Prior to Tuesday, Bogaerts had tied a franchise record with nine consecutive multi-hit games. Pivetta has been a little better since a dreadful July, but he allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings during a loss to Tampa Bay on Aug. 28.
The Rays (76-58) jumped all over Red Sox starter Rich Hill on Tuesday and pulled to within 4.5 games of the Yankees in the AL East. Randy Arozarena’s three-run homer in the first inning set the tone for the Rays, who are 11-4 against Boston this season. Arozarena and Yandy Diaz each have an OPS better than 1.000 over Tampa Bay’s past 12 games and have combined for 15 extra-base hits during that span. Springs has been stretched out from one-inning reliever to full-time starter. Carrying a 2.62 ERA, he is coming off of tossing 5.2 scoreless innings in a win over the Yankees. However, Boston got to him for five runs in a loss on Aug. 27.
Red Sox vs. Rays
Pitchers: Nick Pivetta vs. Jeffrey Springs
First pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET
Red Sox local broadcast: NESN
Rays local broadcast: Bally Sports Sun
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Rays -1.5 (+130)
Run total: 7
Moneyline odds: Rays -170, Red Sox +145
Moneyline pick: Rays -170
It’s just crazy how adaptable the Rays are. Missing so many players due to injuries, they don’t miss a beat. Tuesday’s scheduled starter Drew Rasmussen went on the paternity list shortly before the game, and the Rays just rolled with a bullpen game and kept winning. Keep riding the Rays, especially with Bogaerts likely out.
Player prop pick: Yandy Diaz OVER 1.5 total bases (+130)
Diaz has picked up 11 doubles in his past 20 games. He has also seen Pivetta well, going 4-for-12 with three doubles.
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