The Boston Red Sox got a much-needed win as Enrique Hernandez and Connor Wong each hitting a home run in Thursday’s 8-2 win over Cincinnati to snap a three-game losing streak. The visiting Tampa Bay Rays, who have the best record in the majors, are listed as the favorite in Friday’s opening game of the weekend series according to the MLB picks.
Neither team is coming into the series bursting with confidence. The Red Sox are 3-7 over the last 10 games while Tampa Bay dropped two of three games to a Chicago Cubs team that is in last place in the National League Central Division.
Tampa Bay’s Jose Siri has six home runs over his last 12 games. Boston’s Rafael Devers has at least two hits in six of his last 13 games. Keep that in mind when it comes time to make MLB predictions.
The Rays lead the majors with an .486 team slugging percentage this season with the Red Sox coming in fifth at .436.
When looking at MLB news, shortstop Wander Franco is questionable after missing Tampa Bay’s last game with a shoulder issue. Relief pitchers Shawn Armstrong and Zack Littell are expected back at some point in June.
The Red Sox could have outfielder Adam Duvall back next week. Infielders Christian Arroyo and Yu Chang could also return later this month.
Tampa Bay (+650) is fourth in the odds to win the World Series. The Red Sox are well back at +6000 in the championship odds.
Enjoy this quick look at the matchup before checking out our MLB lines.
Tough Road for Rays
Tampa Bay started the season by winning nine of its first 12 road games. Since then, the Rays are just 5-9 away from home.
Eight of the last nine road games have been decided by one run, with Tampa Bay losing six of those one-run affairs.
The last time the Rays headed to Fenway Park, they lost each of the contests in a three-game series late in the 2022 season.
The MLB odds total has gone over in 15 of the Rays’ last 20 games.
Eight is Enough for Red Sox
It seemed fitting that the Boston Red Sox ended a three-game losing streak thanks to a six-run outburst in the eighth inning.
Boston is tied for third in the majors with 40 runs scored in the eighth inning.
Enrique Hernandez has a team-high 10 hits in the eighth inning and Masataka Yoshida tops the Red Sox with seven RBIs in the eighth inning. On Thursday, Wong’s two-run home run capped the six-run inning.
WONG MAKES A SOUVENIR. pic.twitter.com/n1gsxwc7sv
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 2, 2023
Eight of Boston’s last 12 games finished under the Las Vegas odds total.
Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 6.23 ERA) vs Garrett Whitlock (2-2, 5.14)
Glasnow allowed five hits and three runs in 4⅓ innings in his 2023 debut on Saturday after starting the season on the injured list. The last time he faced the Red Sox, he surrendered two hits and no runs and struck out seven of the 15 batters he faced. Keep that in mind when considering MLB live betting options.
Whitlock gave up three hits and one run with four strikeouts in five innings the last time out. He made his season debut against the Rays on April 11 and allowed three home runs, eight hits and five runs in five innings.
Rays vs Red Sox Head-to Head
Tampa Bay swept a four-game series against Boston back in April with the last three games finishing over the MLB spreads total.
The Red Sox have won five of the last six home games against the Rays. Six of the last 14 games in the series have been decided by one run.
Rays vs Red Sox Game Information
- Game: Rays (40-18) vs Red Sox (29-27)
- Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
- Day/Time: Friday, June 2, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Rays vs Red Sox Live stream: MLB.tv
Rays vs Red Sox Betting Lines
After scoring three runs or less six times in a seven-game stretch, Boston has 20 runs in the last three games. However, it might be hard to maintain that pace as Glasnow makes his second start of the season.
The 9½-run total is tied for the highest among Friday’s games. Don’t be surprised to see the game finish under that mark.
Pick: Over 9 (105)
Tampa Bay is just 14-12 on the road. However, the Rays lead the majors with a .480 slugging percentage away from home. That is enough to go with the American League East leaders.
Pick: Rays -141
Even after Thursday’s win, it is hard for those who bet online to have much confidence in the Red Sox. Boston is just 19-19 against teams with winning records this season and 7-7 against AL East teams.
Pick: Rays -1½ (+115)