Red Sox vs. Rays Series Preview: Rematch at the Trop

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 30: Pitcher David Price
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 30: Pitcher David Price /

The Red Sox look to keep momentum against the Rays at the Tropicana.

The Boston Red Sox (32-15) will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays (22-23) for a three-game series at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox are 7-3 against the Rays this season, but lost two out of three in the previous series at Fenway.

It was an ugly series for the Red Sox, who were outscored 19-13 on a cold weekend in April. While Boston’s offense was relatively quiet for the series, the starting pitching was atrocious. Drew Pomeranz went five innings and gave up four earned runs in the opening game, while David Price was rocked for five earned in 5 2/3 innings pitched.

The Red Sox offense has shown life since the struggles against the Rays. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez have caught fire and are tied for the most HR in the majors. Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi are all heating up, while even the catchers have had a few bright moments at the dish.

The Red Sox, who are 6-4 in their last 10 games, just took three out of four from the Orioles this past weekend. The Rays, who are 7-3 in their last 10, matched the Red Sox’ success by taking three out of four from the Angels.

Will the Red Sox be able to execute against the pesky Rays at the Trop?

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, May 22 at 7:10 PM Chris Sale (4-1, 2.29 ERA ) vs. Jake Faria (3-2, 5.20 ERA)

Wednesday, May 23 at 7:10 PM David Price (4-4, 4.38 ERA ) vs. Chris Archer (3-3, 5.01 ERA)

Thursday, May 24 at 7:10 PM TBA (0-0, 0.00 ERA ) vs. Blake Snell (5-3, 3.07 ERA)

Series Notes

  • This will be the first time Sale has faced the Rays since Opening Day, when he hurled six shutout innings. The Red Sox bullpen blew the game, however.
  • Sale is 3-3 with a 2.06 ERA in eight starts at Tampa.
  • Faria has been brilliant at the Trop, where he’s allowed one run or fewer in all four of his starts. He is 2-0 in those games with a 1.74 ERA.
  • Faria is 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in four appearances (three starts) vs. Boston in his career.
  • Price is coming off one of his best performances with the Red Sox, where he threw a complete-game, six-hitter against the O’s.
  • Archer is 2-12 in his career against the Red Sox.
  • Snell has been nearly untouchable at home, posting a 1.07 ERA in four outings at Tropicana Field.
  • Snell’s last start against Boston on April 27 was a dandy. He gave up two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.

Three Keys To Victory

  • Pitch count: The Red Sox have a pitch count problem. A thorn to Sale’s side especially, the left-hander must keep his pitch count low in order to go deep into his start Tuesday night. Pitch count plagued Sale against the A’s, where he fanned nine but only lasted five innings.
  • Bullpen: The Red Sox bullpen had a terrific series against the Orioles, but can they keep it rolling on the road against a hot Rays team? As always, a series against the Rays will come down to who can execute pitches late in games.
  • Offense behind Betts and Martinez: Betts and Martinez have been hitting the daylights out of the ball, but the more promising sign is the resurgence of Bogaerts, Devers and Benintendi. The Red Sox are at their best when everyone in the lineup is firing on all cylinders without leaving men on base. Can the young trio stay hot against an equally young Rays pitching staff?

Next: Red Sox: Sending Jackie Bradley Jr to the minors is an option

Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!

Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!