Rays vs Red Sox Picks and Predictions: Tampa Hands Boston Another Home Loss

Tampa Bay begins a three-game set in Boston tonight as the Rays look to extend their six-game win streak at Fenway Park. Find out why we're betting on them to do just that in our Rays vs. Red Sox betting picks.

JD Yonke - Contributor at Covers.com
JD Yonke • Contributor
Aug 26, 2022 • 09:19 ET • 4 min read
Randy Arozarena Tampa Bay Rays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Friday night MLB action between the Tampa Bay Rays (69-55) and the Boston Red Sox (60-65) goes down on Apple TV+. 

The Rays currently hold the AL’s top Wild Card spot and will look for a strong finish to the regular season to hold that position. The Red Sox are eight games back in the Wild Card and have lost four straight games.

Tonight's meeting is the first of a three-game series that will affect the Wild Card standings one way or the other. Check out our free MLB picks and predictions for the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox on Friday, August 26.

Rays vs Red Sox odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Boston opened between a -120 and -129 favorite, depending on the book. There has been no live movement at this time. The total opened at 8.5 but has already moved to 9.0 in some spots.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Rays vs Red Sox predictions

Picks made on 8/26/2022 at 7:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Rays vs Red Sox game info

Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Date: Friday, August 26, 2022
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: Apple TV+

Rays vs Red Sox betting preview

Starting pitchers

JT Chargois (1-0, 0.00 ERA): Chargois is a reliever who will act as an opener on Friday. He’s made only three appearances this season, and none of them have been for more than one inning. He’s allowed one earned runs in 2 2-3 innings. Ryan Yarbrough (1-7, 4.43 ERA) will pitch the bulk of the innings. The veteran left-hander has had a season to forget but also hasn’t allowed an earned run in either of his last two appearances.

Michael Wacha (8-1, 2.28 ERA): Wacha has been excellent for Boston this year, posting the lowest ERA of his career. The 10-year MLB veteran appeared to be on the downswing after posting a 5.05 ERA a year ago, but 2022 has been a much different story. His 4.26 xERA and 3.61 FIP do indicate that regression is coming, however.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Rays are 6-0 in the last six meetings between these two teams. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Red Sox

Rays vs Red Sox picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

How do the Red Sox end up favored in a game against a Rays team that has a significantly better record? The market is showing respect for Boston starter Michael Wacha, who has a minuscule 2.28 ERA on the season. His 8-1 record is much different than his counterpart Ryan Yarbrough, who has an ugly 1-7 record.

Can it be that simple?

Wacha’s been great, but his stats do indicate regression at some point. His 4.26 xERA is nearly two full runs higher than his actual ERA. He doesn’t strike out many batters (19.1% strikeout rate) and has a 7.3% walk rate, so he’s relied mainly on batted ball luck en route to a career year. His .235 BABIP is the lowest of his career by a significant margin and does not appear sustainable, especially considering it was up at .312 a year ago.

Wacha does a decent job of limiting hard contact (4.9% barrel rate), but it’s not like he’s a virtuoso. Yarbrough’s numbers haven’t been great, but he's been on the other end of batted ball luck, as his .303 BABIP is a career-worst.

The Rays have won six straight while the Red Sox have lost four in a row. I believe the wrong team is favored and will be playing the underdog.

The Rays are 4-1 in their last five games against the AL East, while Boston has posted a moribund 16-35 record in their last 51 games against divisional opponents.

Prediction: Rays moneyline (+110 at WynnBET)

Over/Under analysis

Michael Wacha has been very impressive this season, but his peripheral numbers don’t paint quite as rosy of a picture. At the end of the day, he has a 4.26 xERA and is facing a Rays team that has won six straight.

Tampa’s lineup is been good but not great lately, ranking 17th in wOBA and 12th in wRC+ in the month of August. The Boston side looks somewhat similar, as the Red Sox are 15th in wOBA and 18th in wRC+ in that same span.

Yarbrough usually only pitches between four and five innings. He’ll face a Red Sox team that has been pretty good against lefties this season but merely average lately. They rank 13th in wOBA and 14th in wRC+ against southpaws this month. The Rays have been trending to the Under, going 4-1-1 in their last six overall and 5-2-2 in their last nine during Game 1 of a series.

The Red Sox have gone 5-2 to the Under in their last seven home games and 7-3 in their last 10 against the AL East. Despite Wacha’s peripherals, he’s found a way to be very successful this season. Yarbrough hasn’t had a good season but has looked better lately, and eventually, his luck should change.

I’ll side with the Under.

Prediction: Under 9 (-120 at Unibet)

Best bet

I’m siding with the Rays for our best bet on Friday night. They’re the superior roster and have been playing better baseball lately, yet are lined as the underdog.

Traveling to Boston hasn’t been a problem as Tampa has gone 19-9 across the last 28 meetings at Fenway. If the batted ball luck starts to change for either pitcher, this line will look like a gift. Even if it doesn’t, the Rays are the playoff team in this matchup and therefore garner a play as slight dogs on the betting market.

Pick: Rays moneyline (+110 at WynnBET)

MLB parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s MLB Rays vs. Red Sox picks, you could win $28.50 on a $10 bet?

Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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