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Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox Betting Preview

The Boston Red Sox (29-27, 16-13 home) meet up with the Tampa Bay Rays (40-18, 14-12 away) in the first of four games to be played over the next three days. Tampa swept Boston earlier in the year when the two teams battled it out over four days in the Bay area in early April.

The first pitch of Friday’s AL East battle is at 7:10 p.m. EST inside the confines of Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Tampa Bay is the betting favorite (-130 moneyline), while the over/under tally is nine runs.

What to Know – Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays dropped the first two games of their three-game series against the Chicago Cubs but bounced back in the finale to avoid the sweep. Tampa Bay continues to sport the best record in baseball and own a comfortable four-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 6.23 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) gets the ball for the Rays. Glasnow made his first start of the season last week after being sidelined since spring training with a left oblique strain. The 29-year-old tossed 4.1 innings in his first appearance, allowing three earned runs on five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

On offense, the Rays are second in the majors batting .267 as a team and scoring 5.9 runs per game. Tampa’s pitching staff is seventh in the MLB, featuring a 3.69 team earned run average.

A handful of players in the Rays’ lineup have stood out through the first two months of the season. Yandy Diaz leads the team in batting average (.310) and home runs (11), while Randy Arozarena has driven in a team-high 40 runs.

What to Know – Boston Red Sox

Boston comes into the weekend after snapping a three-game losing streak and closing out their home series against the Cincinnati Reds with a victory. The Red Sox are two games above .500 but find themselves in last place of the tough AL East.

Righty Garrett Whitlock (2-2, 5.14 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) looks to get the Red Sox to win #30. Whitlock started the season on the injured list and returned to the list for the better part of May with an elbow injury. The third-year pro shined after his month-long absence, firing five innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in his lone start in May.

The Red Sox are fourth amongst league teams hitting .264 and averaging 5.2 runs per contest. The pitching staff for Boston has struggled, ranking 25th in the MLB with a 4.65 team ERA.

Rafael Devers has done it all this season for the Red Sox offense, leading the lineup in home runs (14) and RBIs (48). Rookie Masataka Yoshida, who had a successful career in Japan, is one of the front-runners for AL Rookie of the Year with his success at the dish so far. Yoshida is hitting .312 with seven home runs, 31 RBIs, and 31 runs scored.

The Pick is In

Whitlock is coming off his best start of the year but should be on a pitch count, and the same goes for Glasnow. These two teams can hit the ball, combining for over nine runs in three of their first four meetings, so expect a few early runs with the hitters taking advantage of the bullpen later in the game.

The Pick: Boston/Tampa OVER 9

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