The American East is still very much up for grabs in the early going, with the top four teams separated by two games in the division.
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays collide for the first of 19 head-to-head meetings this season, and a first impression is key here as the two rivals won’t see each other again until the Fourth of July holiday.
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Red Sox swoon
The Red Sox may be relieved to bounce out of Boston as they prepare for a 10-game road trip, all against AL East opponents.
Boston Red Sox scored just five runs in their previous set with Toronto, losing two of three to the Blue Jays while tying their lowest-scoring three-game series over the last five years. They’ve managed to score just 3.8 runs per game in their first 13 contests, their worst mark since 2014.
The Red Sox are still just a game under .500 and 7-6 on the run line (4-2 on the road in those instances). As you might imagine, eight of Boston’s 13 games have gone under the posted total with one push. Check out all today’s MLB lines at BetUS.
Michael Wacha will be on the bump on Friday, and while the righty has yet to stretch past the fifth inning yet, he’s only surrendered one earned run through his first two starts and that will be valuable considering the struggles his offense has endured.
Weather and Wander
The Tampa Bay Rays return home for a nice little nine-game stretch inside Tropicana Field after six straight in the Windy City against the White Sox and Cubs. The Rays’ strategy of scoring early and often in their series finale with the White Sox paid off as the rain forced an early stoppage in the 8-2 final in six innings.
Wander Franco has been electric in his first full season in the show, entering the weekend with the fifth-best batting average in baseball. The 21-year-old is riding a five-game hit streak with nine hits over that span going back to last Friday.
Tampa is 6-7 on the run line ( 2-5 at home) and six of its 13 games have gone over the total. The Rays have won three of their last four overall, with all three victories going over as they’ve scored 23 runs in those wins.
Red Sox vs Rays Head-to-Head
As noted, this is the first time these two are going head-to-head this season. The Rays won 11 of the 19 matchups in 2021 and eight of the last 11 in Tampa, though Boston has won four out of the last five overall.
The Sox eliminated the Rays from the playoffs last year, winning their AL Divisional Series 3-1. Bet online now.
Red Sox vs Rays Game Information
- Game: Red Sox (6-7) vs Rays (7-6)
- Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
- Day/Time: Friday, April 22nd. 7:10 pm ET
- Red Sox vs Rays Live Stream: MLB.tv
Red Sox vs Rays Betting Lines
Red Sox vs Rays Prediction
Corey Kluber will oppose Wacha on Friday night. The former Cy Young winner is 3-4 with a 4.43 ERA in 11 outings, including 10 starts, against the Red Sox. He has been strong through his first two starts this season but has yet to factor into a decision.
Wacha, a former Ray, is 0-3 with an 8.16 ERA in three starts against Tampa, with opposing batters hitting .317 against him.
The Rays have had regular-season success against Boston recently, winning 18 of 29 since 2020. But they also have the revenge factor in play here, seeing how Boston ended their season a year ago and their bid for a second straight World Series appearance.
Our free MLB pick expects Franco and Co. to start this homestand off with a bang and take the opener. Head to the BetUS sportsbook for all the available lines now.