Rays vs Red Sox Picks and Predictions: Targeting Tuesday's Over at Fenway Park

With a relatively low total and questions surrounding the health of Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi, Boston may be forced to turn to its league-worst bullpen since the All-Star break too early. The play today is the Over as the Rays look to capitalize.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Oct 4, 2022 • 11:31 ET • 4 min read
Manuel Margot Tampa Bay Rays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

There won't be much drama in the final few days of the MLB season with all playoff teams determined. However, the Tampa Bay Rays could still find themselves visiting Cleveland or Toronto in the Wild Card round depending on how this final series against the Boston Red Sox shakes out.

Boston took the first contest in this four-game set last night and are slim +100 home underdogs today with the Over/Under at 7.5. Here are my best free Rays vs. Red Sox MLB picks and predictions for October 4. 

Rays vs Red Sox best odds

Rays vs Red Sox picks and predictions

The Red Sox were shut out in back-to-back games in Toronto last weekend but this is still a very dangerous lineup that averages 4.81 runs per game at home. 

Although Tampa Bay starter Jeffrey Springs has a very impressive 2.45 ERA this season, his expected ERA sits at a more modest 3.24.

While Springs pitched very well against Boston last month (albeit in just three innings at pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field), he was roughed up in his previous two starts versus the Red Sox this year, surrendering 13 hits and eight runs across 10 innings. The Red Sox also hit the ball very well against southpaws like Springs, boasting a .754 OPS.

That said, Boston will need to put up runs since they don't do a good job of preventing them. It's a bit puzzling why the Rays haven't hit better away from home this season but they should have success against Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi, who has an xERA of 4.40 with a hard-hit rate and barrel rate that rank among the bottom fifth percentile of pitchers.

Eovaldi has been dealing with a trap/shoulder injury and pitched fewer than five innings when he returned from the IL last week. If he can't pitch deep, the Sox will be forced to hand things over to a bullpen that has an awful 5.64 ERA with a wOBA of .344 since the All-Star break. 

My best bet: Over 7.5 (-105 at bet365)

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Rays vs Red Sox moneyline analysis

The Red Sox may have edged the Rays 4-3 yesterday but Tampa Bay has owned this series lately and had won 10 of the previous 12 meetings between these AL East foes. 

The Red Sox have been the far more productive team at the dish this season, ranking ninth in the majors with a .729 OPS, bumping that number up to .771 at Fenway.

The Rays are 25th in OPS (.685) and surprisingly haven't been any better away from their pitcher-friendly home field with an OPS of .674 on the road. 

The Rays have the much better pitching staff, however, and send Springs to the mound today. Springs has looked very sharp lately and pitched to a 1.44 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP and an OBA of .192 in six September starts.

The Rays also have a deep and versatile bullpen that has pitched to a 3.17 ERA with a wOBA of .279 since the All-Star break. 

Eovaldi and his 4.05 ERA will toe the rubber for Boston today before he makes way for that awful Red Sox bullpen we highlighted earlier.

Rays vs Red Sox Over/Under analysis

I already mentioned why I liked the Over 7.5 earlier and if those weren't enough, the Over has gone a commanding 18-7-1 in the last 26 meetings between these teams at Fenway.

The Over is also 8-3 in the Red Sox's last 11 games and with their combination of solid hitting and woeful pitching, they've seen only seven totals set below 8 since the All-Star break (with six of those coming away from home).

Rays vs Red Sox trend to know

The Red Sox are 21-46 in their last 67 games versus AL East opponents. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Red Sox

Rays vs Red Sox game info

Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2022
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Sun, NESN

Starting pitchers

Jeffrey Springs (9-4, 2.45 ERA): Springs pitched for Boston in 2020 but has really blossomed since being traded to Tampa Bay in February of 2021. The lefty is enjoying a breakout campaign with a 1.07 WHIP and an OBA of .223 across 132 1-3 innings. In his previous outing last Thursday, Springs allowed just three hits in six innings of shutout ball against the Guardians. 

Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.05 ERA): Eovaldi was named to the All-Star team last year but has regressed this season, pitching to a 4.38 FIP with a 1.26 WHIP and an OBA of .270 across 19 starts. The 32-year-old recently came back from the IL to pitch 4 2-3 innings against the Orioles last Thursday, scattering five hits and two runs (one earned). 

Rays vs Red Sox latest injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Rays vs Red Sox weather

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

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