The Tampa Bay Rays (4-3) and Boston Red Sox (2-5) will play the second game of a four-game American League East series Saturday afternoon inside Fenway Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 ET
Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay has registered a 1-3 record on its current 10-game road trip and will look to recover from a 12-2 blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday. The Rays managed to fall to 2-10 when serving as a visiting team in another’s home opener. Third baseman Evan Longoria will look to bounce back after not getting a hit in four at-bats in the series opener, as he’s 5 for 20 in his career against today’s opposing starter. Tampa Bay is still 8-1 in its last nine games versus divisional opponents.
Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is coming off one of the more impressive season-opening outings, picking up a 3-0 home victory over the New York Yankees on April 8, allowing just three hits over 8 2/3 innings. The right-hander will be making his sixth career appearance (fifth start) versus the Red Sox, posting a winning 2-1 mark and 4.21 ERA. Hellickson has thrived in daytime appearances in his career, posting a 9-4 mark and 2.41 ERA, as opponents are hitting just .196 against him.
Boston picked up its first daytime victory in its fifth try, while also winning its eighth consecutive home opener inside Fenway Park. The Red Sox had five of nine starters collect multiple hits, but also watched outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury injure his shoulder. The early prognosis is that he dislocated it and will be out at least six weeks. Over the course of this rivalry, the club has posted a 80-41 record when playing at home, while going 142-100 overall. Boston is 5-12 in its last 17 games against teams with a winning record.
Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (0-0, 15.75 ERA) enters off a forgettable effort, dropping a 13-12 road contest against the Detroit Tigers on April 8, surrendering seven runs and eight hits over four frames. The right-hander has a solid 4-2 record and 1.81 ERA in eight starts versus the Rays, including a 1-0 mark and 1.80 ERA in one start a year ago. His 1.81 ERA in this series is his lowest against any AL opponent, while he’s allowed three earned runs or less in all eight career outings.
Bettors will likely back the Red Sox due to their 5-2 record in Buchholz’s last seven starts versus the Rays, while the Rays are 0-6 as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
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