Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Fenway Park, Boston Massachusetts
When: Friday, April 26, 2019, 7:10 pm Eastern
We have an American League East matchup to discuss when the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox meet for game one of their three-game weekend series under threatening skies and rain in the forecast. Tampa Bay leads the American League East with a record of 16-9 and plans on righty Charlie Morton to hurl against Boston. The Red Sox is fourth in the AL East with a record of 10 wins and 15 losses and hopes southpaw David Price can keep the Rays off the scoreboard. I’m the Flash and look forward to discussing this game with you today.
Rays in First Place in American League East
The Rays have been solid thus far this season and were swept by this same Red Sox side this past weekend and enter this series with Boston coming off a series win over the Kansas City Royals. Tampa Bay has the seventh-ranked offense in the American League averaging 4.8 runs per game with 33 bombs this season. The Rays pitching staff ranks first in the American League with a 3.07 team ERA and their 3.89 xFIP suggests this staff may have been a bit lucky thus far this season.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 24, 2019
Tampa Bay has a lengthy injury report with the most significant being a thumb injury to Auston Meadows that will leave him sidelined until May. Meadows leads the Rays in several offensive categories, and this is a huge loss to Tampa Bay.
Morton (2-0, 3.38) is having a decent season thus far and is coming off a tough outing to these same Red Sox, allowing five earned runs with one bomb while scattering five hits with nine strikeouts over six innings pitched. Morton has an ERA of 3.38 and his 3.74 xFIP suggests Morton has been a bit lucky thus far this season. The current Red Sox has had success against Morton, slashing .307/.364/.525/.888 with four bombs and 27 strikeouts over 101 career at-bats against Morton.
The Rays rank 14th in baseball against left-handed pitching with a .133 ISO, wOBA of .322 and wRC+ of 104 with a 30 percent strikeout rate against southpaws this season.
Boston Struggling Against Sub .500 Teams
Boston is a below .500 side and is looking to put together some type of winning streak that can get them back to .500. The Red Sox swept this same Rays side last weekend and have lost two of their past three games to the Detroit Tigers. Boston ranks tenth in the American League in offense and averages 4.4 runs per game with 27 home runs this season. The pitching has been worse than the Red Sox offense, ranking 13th in the American League with a staff ERA of 5.54 and their 4.20 xFIP suggests maybe this staff has suffered some bad luck thus far this season.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 25, 2019
The Red Sox have a long injury list without any significant injuries other than the ones they have been dealing with since Spring Training.
Price (1-1, 3.75 ERA) is coming off a strong performance against this Tampa Bay side, allowing just two earned runs over five innings pitched with five hits, two walks, and ten strikeouts. Price has an ERA of 3.75 and his 3.29 xFIP suggests maybe Price has been the victim of some bad luck thus far this season. The current Rays hasn’t had much success over their career against Price, hitting three bombs with 49 strikeouts and slashing .195/.235/.317/.552 over 123 at bats.
Boston ranks 23rd in baseball against right-handed pitching with a .145 ISO, .305 wOBA and wRC+ of 85 with a 21 percent strikeout rate against righties this season.
- Red Sox are 9-2 in Price’s last 11 home starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Red Sox are 12-3 in Price’s last 15 starts vs. American League East.
- Rays are 8-17 in the last 25 meetings in Boston.
- Rays are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. American League East.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Red Sox but I’m not a huge fan of the juice we have to pay by playing Boston. The Red Sox offense is too good not to break out of their funk and David Price has always pitched well against these Rays players. Morton is solid but it’s difficult for me to play a pitcher with a 34 percent pull rate and 36 percent opposite field rate Morton currently possesses. I saw the following trend I think might be helpful on Friday night.
- Red Sox are 5-1 in Prices last 6 starts vs. Rays.
We make “Cash with the Flash” when we play the Red Sox on Friday night.
Prediction: Red Sox -146
Full-Game Total Pick
Both pitchers have been good this season at limiting runs and I suspect the rainy weather will help to keep the runs at a minimum. I also believe Price is going to have another big outing against a side that just lost their best hitter for a month or more. I saw the following trend I think might be helpful on Friday night.
- Under is 5-1 in Prices last 6 starts vs. Rays.
We make “Cash with the Flash” when we play the under on Friday night.
Prediction: Under 8.5 Runs