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MLB Betting – Boston vs. Tampa Bay Preview & Pick

MLB Betting – Red Sox vs Rays Preview & Pick

Though they’re comfortably in position for a playoff berth of some sort, the Boston Red Sox still need to be at their best every game in September if they want to retake the American League East from the New York Yankees.


MLB Betting – Red Sox vs Rays Preview & Pick
Date: Friday, September 9, 2011
Venue: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Broadcast: NESN, SUN
Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Betting Lines from Bodog.com
Money Line: Rays -102
Over/Under: 9.5
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Boston Red Sox (85-57 through September 7)

John Lackey (12-11, 6.11)

Boston’s last six games (through Wednesday) are a microcosm of its season. Three times over that span, the Red Sox scored 10 or more runs. And, three times over that span, they allowed 10 or more. The offense is doing almost all the heavy lifting while Boston’s pitching continues to disappoint.

Injuries are more to blame than anything else. Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow) and Clay Buchholz (back) are on the 60-day DL; Erik Bedard will likely miss his scheduled Friday start with a knee injury; Josh Beckett has a sprained ankle.

John Lackey will start in Bedard’s place Friday night. What’s his excuse? He’s been terrible this season. Now, more than ever, Boston needs him to step up. Lackey has allowed between three and six earned runs in eight straight starts. Hey, he’s consistent.

Tampa Bay Rays (78-64)
Wade Davis (9-8, 4.50)

It sure feels like Tampa’s goose is cooked as a playoff hopeful in the American League. However, if the Rays were to sweep Boston this weekend, they’d close to within four games of the Wild Card, so they have something to play for.


Wade Davis is the picture of mediocrity. Average control, ho-hum strikeout rate, average ERA, average record. He’s just a guy. When he pitches against the Red Sox, however, he’s much worse than just a guy.

Davis is 0-2 with 14 earned runs in 11.1 innings over three career outings against Boston. The Red Sox own his soul. David Ortiz is 2 for 5 with a homer off Davis and will be the guy to watch on Friday.

MLB Trends

Over is 25-10-5 in BOS last 40 Fri. games.
BOS are 37-18 in their last 55 road games.
Over is 8-2 in Lackeys last 10 starts overall.
Over is 5-2-2 in TB last 9 on astroturf.
Under is 62-25-6 in TB last 93 home games.
Under is 20-5-1 in Davis’ last 26 home starts.
Under is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings in Tampa Bay.

MLB Free pick:

The last time Lackey pitched at Tropicana field, he was all over the map, allowing 10 hits and four runs, three earned, over 5.2 innings. He also struck out seven Rays and got the victory. I’d expect a similar result on Friday. Lackey won’t necessarily be effective but he’ll do just enough to win since Davis should struggle against Boston as usual.

Red Sox vs Rays prediction: Red Sox 7, Rays 5

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.