MLB Betting Picks – Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays August 30

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The Boston Red Sox held down first place in the AL East for a good chunk of the season until a recent skid sent them tumbling down the standings. And the surging Tampa Bay Rays took advantage skyrocketing to the division lead with a lot of help from the Orioles. Tampa finished off its second sweep of the O’s in the last two weeks and won 18 of 19 in the season series. The Rays are 11-1 in their last 12 games entering the opener of a four-game set with the Sox on Monday. Boston has fallen eight games off the pace in the division and needs to be more concerned now with holding on to the final wild card spot.

This AL East matchup will air live on ESPN at 7:10 p.m. ET from Tropicana Field. Betting options for every game on the 2021 MLB schedule are available at BookMaker.eu.

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Date and Time: Monday, August 30, 2021, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Probable Pitchers: Nick Pivetta vs. Luis Patino
Opening MLB Odds: Tampa Bay -135, Boston +115, O/U 8.5
Red Sox at Rays TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

It was a nice run for the Sox, who surprised a lot of folks with their strong start. They weren’t expected to be pushing for a division title or a playoff berth, but here they are at the end of August clinging to the second wild card. While the Sox are looking in the rearview mirror, they are also aware of the opportunity ahead of them. The Sox and Rays will play seven games over the next 10 days with Boston looking to chop away at its eight-game deficit. They are playing better having won three straight series while going 6-3 in that stretch. They were denied a sweep of Cleveland with a 7-5 loss on Sunday. Prior to that the Sox had a dismal stretch where they won just seven of 22 games, including a 1-5 mark against the Rays.

You can’t blame the offense for the slump. The Sox have been one of the best at scoring runs all season and they plated 58 runs (6.3 per game) during the nine-game stretch. The OVER is 6-2 in Boston’s previous eight games The Sox rank among the top-5 in scoring (5.07 runs per game), batting average (.259) and OPS (.772).

Anyone who says a small market team can’t win needs to take a look at what the Rays have done over the past several seasons. They are proving last year’s march to the World Series was no fluke with the best record in the AL by beating up on teams within their division. Not only did the Rays own Baltimore, they’ve also won seven of the last eight meetings with the Sox and are 42-18 against AL East foes. Winners of seven straight coming in, Tampa owns the best record in the AL and is up nearly $2000 on the moneyline.

Probable Pitchers

Nick Pivetta (9-6, 4.57 ERA) gets the nod for the Sox in the opener as he makes his fourth start against the Rays this season. He will need to pitch better than he did in his last two starts to pick up a win. The righty surrendered six hits and four runs in 4.0 innings against the Twins last time out and lasted just 1.2 frames in a loss to the Yankees the outing prior. He allowed four runs on four hits before getting yanked. Despite throwing six innings of shutout ball against Toronto on Aug. 7, Pivetta has a lofty 5.35 ERA in his last seven starts and the Sox are 1-4 the last five times he took the mound.

Over his first two starts against the Rays, Pivetta was nearly unhittable. He allowed two hits and no runs over five innings back in April and tossed 6.2 hitless innings in June taking a ND in a 1-0 setback. He’s allowed just five hits with 18 strikeouts in 16.1 innings against Tampa this year.

The Rays are being cautious with Luis Patino (3-3, 4.53 ERA) pushing this start back a day as his innings continue to rise. Between the Rays and Triple-A, Patino has thrown 81 innings opposed to just 18 last season. And at 21 he’s a big part of the rotation moving forward. He posted his second quality start in 10 starts last time out allowing two runs on five hits over six innings.

His only appearance against the Sox came earlier this month when he went six innings giving up six and four runs. He took a ND as the Rays rallied for an 8-4 victory. He has benefitted from the highest scoring offense in the majors. The Rays have scored at least eight runs in half of his previous eight starts and they are 5-3 in that span.

Bet Red Sox at Rays at BookMaker.eu

You can count on high scoring affairs when these teams get together. The Rays scored at least seven runs in six of the last eight meetings going 7-1 in that span with the OVER at 5-3. The total was never below 8.5 in any of those games and closed in double figures in the last two. Both pitchers have had some success putting me toward the UNDER and it’s hard not to be a fan of the Rays.

MLB Score Prediction: Rays 5, Red Sox 3

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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