Tampa Bay -145
The Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays kick off a three-game weekend set at Tropicana Field tonight in a key divisional duel between two American League East rivals. Game time is set for 7:10 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast on the MLB Network.
Boston entered this week’s All-Star break as the hottest team in baseball with a six-game winning streak and nine victories in its last 10 games The Red Sox are now an AL-best 55-35 and have a one-game lead over New York in the division. They are 28-17 at home and 27-18 on the road.
One of the main reasons that Boston is the best team in the AL heading into the second half of the regular season is a lineup that leads the league in hitting with a .278 team batting average and scoring with 482 runs.
Andrew Miller is slated to get the start for the Red Sox. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA in four previous starts. He has given up a total of nine earned runs in his 22.2 innings pitched.
Tampa Bay continues to tread water in the East with just four wins in its last 10 games. The Rays are six games in back of Boston with an overall record of 49-41. They are 28-20 on the road this season and 21-21 at home.
Consistency at the plate has been an issue for Tampa this season as it is ranked 12th in the AL with a team batting average of .245. The Rays are ranked eighth in scoring with 380 runs.
It looks like David Price will get the call tonight for Tampa Bay. The left-hander is 8-7 in 19 previous starts this season with an ERA of 3.70. He has given up eight earned runs on 12 hits including Derek Jeter’s 3000th in his last two starts. He is 1-1 against Boston this season with a 3.55 ERA.
Head-to-head this season, the Rays won the first two games on the road, but dropped the last two of a three-game series at home in mid-June. The total has stayed ‘under’ in the last four meetings after going ‘over’ the 9.5-run line in the first game this year.
The few days off should not slow the Red Sox’s current momentum as they pound out a win in a game that goes ‘over’ the total.
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