The Tampa Bay Rays will be a strong favorite in our MLB lines when they host the Boston Red Sox in the middle contest of a three-game series on Tuesday.
Right-hander Zach Eflin gives the Rays a big advantage on the mound as he tries to become the American League’s first 14-game winner and earn his 11th victory at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay is 3½ games behind Baltimore for the top spot in the AL East after dropping the series opener 7-3 on Monday, ending a 13-0 streak at home versus Boston. It was the Rays’ third loss in four games after an 8-1 stretch.
The Red Sox bounced back from a five-game losing streak by winning three in a row, registering 23 runs in the process, as they try to stay in the hunt for an AL Wild Card spot. Boston is 4½ games out and +20000 to win the pennant.
Kutter Crawford gets the start for the Red Sox. The right-hander has been a better bet on the road than at home.
Red Sox Going Over Plenty Lately
Boston’s offense has stepped it up the past few weeks, and bettors have filled their pockets at the sportsbook, going 16-1-1 in their last 18 games.
Triston Casas belted his 23rd homer of the season and knocked in four runs to lead Boston on Monday. The 23-year-old first baseman, who is +800 to win the AL Rookie of the Year in the Las Vegas odds, is 17-for-41 in his last 12 contests with 11 RBIs.
Masataka Yoshiba is also warming up, going 5-for-11 with six RBIs in three games after homering the last two days. Boston’s top hitter, Rafael Devers, also has impressive numbers against Eflin (4-for-5, two homers).
The over is 74-61-3 this season in Red Sox contests. Boston is third in the majors in hits and batting average.
TRISTON CASAS TO THE MOON! pic.twitter.com/rVThYtUBGC
— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 4, 2023
Betting Rays at Home Not as Profitable
Tampa Bay owns the most wins at home (45) in the AL this season, but the Rays are an ordinary 10-9 at Tropicana Field since the All-Star break, going 2-2 in the past four.
That has a good chance to change, with Eflin going Tuesday and Tyler Glasnow slated to get the start for Tampa Bay. The Rays are averaging four runs over the last five games – almost one below their season average, though.
Brandon Lowe has been Tampa Bay’s top hitter lately, going 12-for-32 with eight RBIs across the last nine contests. Josh Lowe is also 10-for-25 in his past eight games.
Tampa Bay is +400 to win the pennant in our MLB odds, behind only Houston (+325) and Baltimore (+375).
Kutter Crawford (6-7, 4.08 ERA) vs Zach Eflin (13-8, 3.40)
Kutter Crawford is coming off his worst month of the season, finishing 1-2 with a 4.73 ERA in August, including last Wednesday when he allowed six runs over 2 ⅔ innings against Houston. The 27-year-old is 6-3 on the road with a 2.06 ERA, compared to 0-4 and 6.51 at home. Crawford has yielded two runs across six innings versus the Rays in 2023.
Eflin was just 2-2 in August but finished with a 2.62 ERA in six starts – his best month of the season. The 29-year-old blanked Miami over 6 ⅓ innings in a no-decision last Wednesday and is 10-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts at Tropicana Field. Eflin has a 7.00 ERA in nine career innings versus Boston, with Devers leading the charge.
Best Bet for Red Sox-Rays
Eflin and Crawford have the numbers to keep the score down, but the over-under line is rather low (8 runs) for two good offensive teams and they won’t be on the mound throughout. We think Eflin gives the Rays an advantage despite his numbers against the Red Sox and Crawford’s success on the road. Take Tampa Bay, which is 7-2 in the season series.
Best Prop Bets for Red Sox-Rays
You can get good money if you think the Red Sox (+350) or the Rays (+200) will score more in the first inning, but the best value may be a Rays two-run win.
- Best MLB Prop: Rays win by 2 (+650)