The Boston Red Sox (40-25) and Tampa Bay Rays (34-29) will continue a three-game American League East series Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Boston has won three games in a row, including a 10-8 extra-innings victory over Tampa Bay as +129 road underdogs Monday, while going OVER the total for a fifth consecutive contest. “Really, both teams showed a lot of guts,” commented Red Sox pitcher John Lackey. The Red Sox own the best record in the Junior Circuit—leading the New York Yankees by two games in the division standings. Boston is 6-2 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the OVER going 5-3 in that situation.
Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (6-2, 3.60 ERA) has watched the club alternate wins and losses over his last five starts, as he failed to earn a decision in a 6-3 home victory over the Texas Rangers, allowing three runs and seven hits over six frames. The left-hander is 4-2 with a 4.11 ERA in eight road outings, issuing 15 walks and striking out 42 batters in 50.1 combined frames. In 24 career games versus the Rays, Lester has compiled an 11-8 record and 4.07 ERA, including a 9-2 road win on May 15.
Tampa Bay has dropped back-to-back games due to allowing 10 runs in each, which has led to going OVER the betting total of 7.5 in both of those contests. The Rays are now five games back of the Red Sox in the AL East standings. The club has dropped six of seven meetings in this season series in 2013, as it has managed to hit just .129 with runners in scoring position, which is far different than the Red Sox batting .346 in that category. Tampa Bay is 6-7 after allowing 10 or more runs the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 8-3-2 in those 13 opportunities.
Rays starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 5.03 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last three outings, as he comes off a 5-2 road defeat to the Detroit Tigers, allowing four runs and 10 hits over 5.1 frames. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.08 ERA in five home appearances, with opposing hitters batting .227 against him. In nine career games (seven starts) versus the Red Sox, Hernandez has tallied a 2-4 record and 3.63 ERA.
Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 9-4 in Lester’s last 13 starts versus the Rays.