Rays vs Red Sox – 4/27/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Predictions
Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox MLB Baseball Saturday, April 27, 2019 (4:05pm et) Current Odds: Boston -135, Total Runs 8.5
Heading into the opener of a lengthy road trip, the Tampa Bay Rays viewed their series at Boston as a significant test.
Conversely, the Red Sox are hoping to continue a week’s worth of improved offensive production.
After being rained out Friday, the AL East foes will attempt to attain their respective goals Saturday afternoon in the opener of an abbreviated two-game series at Fenway Park.
Tampa Bay began this season 14-4 but has lost five of its last seven games. Three of those defeats were last weekend to Boston, when the Rays hit 4-for-23 with runners in scoring position and struck out 37 times.
The Rays followed up getting swept by Boston by taking two of three from Kansas City. They were unable to complete the sweep Wednesday, when they took a 10-2 loss as ace Blake Snell struggled in his return from the injured list.
“A lot of us were very bitter after this past weekend, coming up on the short end of the stick three games in a row,” Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier told the Tampa Bay Times. “We know what we want to accomplish this weekend. We want to get back at them.”
Tampa Bay will start the series and its nine-game trip with two regulars on the injured list.
Austin Meadows, who is hitting .351, was placed on the injured list last Sunday with a sprained right thumb. Second baseman Joey Wendle was placed on the injured list Thursday with a fractured wrist after getting hit by a pitch Wednesday.
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Boston has won five of its last seven games, and a big part of its recent turnaround is Mookie Betts. Betts doubled twice and drove in a run in a 7-3 victory over Detroit on Thursday.
Betts was 6-for-12 in last weekend’s trip to Tampa Bay and is hitting .423 (11-for-26) in his last seven games to raise his batting average to .260.
The Red Sox also have scored 40 runs in their last seven games.
“We know we are a good offensive club,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of his team’s improved offense. “We know it. It’s just a matter of keep controlling the strike zone and putting good swings on pitches in the zone.”
Charlie Morton was slated to start Friday for the Rays and instead will start Saturday.
Last Saturday, Morton took a no-decision, allowing a season-high five runs on five hits in six innings in Tampa Bay’s 6-5 loss. Morton allowed all the runs on consecutive pitches by giving up a grand slam to Andrew Benintendi after hitting Sandy Leon with the bases loaded.
Morton is 3-1 with a 5.06 ERA in five regular-season starts against Boston.
David Price gets the start for Boston and looks keep rolling at home. In his last 14 home starts, he is 10-0 with a 2.30 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP.
Price last pitched Sunday at Tampa Bay and took a no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits and striking out 10 in five innings.
Since being traded from the Rays at the trade deadline in 2014, the left-hander is 5-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 15 outings (14 starts) against his former team.
411Winners Pick and Prediction: Red Sox -135