The Boston Red Sox will try to earn their first win of the 2021 MLB season as they welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Fenway Park on Monday night.
The BoSox opened their campaign with three consecutive losses against the Orioles and will try to get on track against the 2-1 Rays, who are coming off a campaign where they won the AL East and were the World Series runners-up.
Here are our best free picks and predictions for the Rays vs. Red Sox in MLB betting action on April 5, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Rays vs Red Sox odds
MLB sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
Tampa Bay hit TwinSpires' odds board as a modest -115 favorite, and this matchup is a -108 pick 'em as of 3:45 p.m. ET. The Rays are taking 66 percent of moneyline bets, while the Red Sox are landing 55 percent of moneyline cash. The total is stable at 9.5, with the Over getting 70 percent of bets and 75 percent of money.Check out the full line movement for this game
Rays vs Red Sox betting preview
Michael Wacha (2020: 1-4, 6.62 ERA): Wacha is coming off a rough season for the Mets in 2020 and will be hoping that a change of scenery can bring him back to his early-career form with the Cardinals. The 29-year-old was very sharp in Grapefruit League action, surrendering just one run through 15 innings of work.
Nick Pivetta (2020: 2-0, 6.89 ERA): The 28-year-old never lived up to his potential with Philadelphia but acclimated quickly to Boston after being traded there last August. In two starts with the BoSox he allowed a pair of runs while fanning 13 batters across 10 innings. Pivetta looked strong in most of his five starts during spring training, although he was rocked in one outing against the Pirates.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Rays: Ji-Man Choi 1B (Out), Oliver Drake RP (Out), Jalen Beeks RP (Out), Nick Anderson RP (Out), Colin Poche RP (Out).
Red Sox: Ryan Brasier RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Rays are 18-5 in their last 23 games following a loss. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Red Sox.
The Red Sox are coming off a brutal 2020 campaign where they posted their worst winning percentage in more than half a century. Trading away MVP candidate Mookie Betts obviously hurt but Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez also struggled at the plate after playing very well the previous year.
Losing three consecutive games to start the year is never a good look. And those defeats appear even worse when you consider that they came at home against one of the worst squads in the majors—and they weren't even competitive in two of them.
The Rays began their season with a pair of wins against the Marlins before losing 12-7 on Saturday. They had a banner year in 2020, finishing the regular season with a 40-20 record and upsetting the Yankees and Astros in the postseason before falling to a dominant Dodgers squad in the World Series.
This is a Tampa Bay team that doesn't have the most well-known sluggers but is able to manufacture runs when needed. The Rays rely on timely hitting and great pitching—from both their starters and relievers.
The Rays are 15-6 in their last 21 games as a road favorite and have gone 13-3 in their previous 16 trips to Fenway Park. With the Red Sox just 17-36 in their last 53 games at home, fade them tonight.
PREDICTION: Tampa Bay ML (-120)
The starters for both of these teams are hoping that a change of scenery is exactly what they need. Pivetta has the stuff to be a decent starter but never seemed to put it together with the Phillies. However, the right-hander's two games for Boston last September were solid, allowing four hits and one run across five innings in both outings.
Wacha had been very reliable for the Cardinals before bombing for the Mets, but his play during spring training indicates he could have a bounce-back year. And with one of the best groups of relievers in the majors behind him, he won't be asked to carry a heavy workload.
The BoSox allowed the second-most runs in the majors last year, but their bats were a big disappointment as well. After ranking third in the bigs in runs per game in 2019 with 5.56, that number fell to just 4.87 last season. Early returns this year are even worse with Boston generating just 1.67 runs per game and batting .160.
With the Under cashing in 16 of the Rays last 22 away contests, back the Under again tonight.
PREDICTION: Under 9.5 (-115)
Rays vs Red Sox betting card
- Tampa Bay ML (-120)
- Under 9.5 (-115)
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