All year, the Tampa Bay Rays have had a commanding lead over the rest of the AL East, but for as great as the team has been, the division has been almost just as good. Even the last place Boston Red Sox who are 10 games back of first are still over .500 and found a way to salvage a game from the Red yesterday. The Rays are 40-18 and the Red Sox are 29-27 as they head into a weekend series, the second meeting of these two rivals.
For Game 1 tonight at Fenway Park, the Rays will send Tyler Glasnow to the mound to make his second start of the year. Glasnow has allowed three earned runs over 4.1 innings this year in his first appearance since an injury last season. The Rays lineup will faceGarrett Whitlock, who is 2-2 on the year with a 5.14 ERA in four starts.
It’s a big division rivalry and if Boston gets hot they can drag Tampa Bay back to the pack. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Rays vs. Red Sox odds, run line and total
Rays vs. Red Sox prediction and pick
Only one time in his career has Tyler Glasnow thrown more than 100 innings and he finished with a 4.27 ERA that year. He’s been incredibly impressive in his limited work since that season, but his first start this year was just his third start since the end of 2021. It might not be a bad idea for Tampa Bay to send him and his fragile right arm to the bullpen and he’s not the only pitcher in this matchup that belongs there.
Garrett Whitlock was a dominant force in the Boston bullpen in 2021, his rookie year. He finished the season with a 1.96 ERA in 73.1 innings across 46 appearances.
For his career he has a 2.24 ERA out of the bullpen and allows just a .603 OPS, but when he starts a game that ERA balloons to 4.50 and hitters have an OPS of .769. It doesn’t appear that Boston has any idea what their starting rotation should be especially with Corey Kluber’s struggles and that might ultimately be their downfall this year.
Glasnow wasn’t great last time and I’m certain the Rays won’t give him a long leash in his second start back. The Rays surprisingly don’t have a strong bullpen with a 4.32 ERA which ranks 22nd in the MLB. With Whitlock’s issues as a starter and the shaky nature of Tampa’s bullpen I’ll take the over in this one. By OPS these are the No. 1 and No. 5 offensive in baseball, so let’s back them in Game 1.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change