Rays vs Red Sox Picks and Predictions: Boston Goes Back To Beating Up Yarbrough

Despite struggling against Ryan Yarbrough in their last meeting, Boston has destroyed the Tampa lefty overall this season. Add in that the Sox are sending out ace Chris Sale, and we're backing the BoSox against their division rival on Labor Day.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Sep 6, 2021 • 08:41 ET • 4 min read
J.D. Martinez Boston Red Sox MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox clashed in a four-game series last week and will meet again for a three-game set this week, beginning with an afternoon matinee on Labor Day.

The Rays have a 7.5-game lead atop the AL East but the third-place Red Sox are the favorites tonight, with MLB betting lines installing them as -139 chalk.

Here are our best free Rays vs. Red Sox picks and predictions for Monday, September 6, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET. 

Rays vs Red Sox game info

Location: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Date: Monday, September 6, 2021
Time: 1:10 p.m. ET
TV: NESN, Bally Sports Sun

Rays vs Red Sox odds

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Rays vs Red Sox betting preview

Starting pitchers

Ryan Yarbrough (8-4, 4.50 ERA): The left-hander has pitched to a 1.17 WHIP with an opponent batting average of .257 through 134 innings this season. His last start came against Boston last Tuesday, when he limited the Red Sox to five hits and two runs through six innings. 

Chris Sale (3-0, 2.53 ERA): The seven-time All-Star returned from Tommy John rehab just a month ago but seems to already be back near his best form. In four starts since returning to the rotation, he has allowed six runs while fanning 24 batters through 21 1-3 innings. In his previous outing last Wednesday, Sale faced off against the Rays and allowed two runs in six innings of work. 


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

Key injuries

Rays: Ji-Man Choi 1B (Out), Brett Phillips OF (Out), Nick Anderson RP (Out), Ryan Thompson RP (Out), Matt Wisler RP (Out).
Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts SS (Out), Kike Hernandez 2B (Out), Christian Arroyo 3B (Out), Danny Santana OF (Out), Matt Barnes RP (Out), Josh Taylor RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 7-1 in the Red Sox last 8 home games. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Red Sox.

Moneyline pick

At 86-51, the Rays own the best record in the American League and have a 7.5-game cushion above the Yankees in the AL East. The Red Sox are in third place in the division but have a three-game lead in the Wild Card race and will look to end their season strong and book a trip to the postseason.

Boston has won four of its last five games, which includes back-to-back victories at Tropicana Field last week to snap a streak of futility in Tampa Bay. A big reason for that first win against the Rays was the play of Chris Sale, who will take to the mound on Monday.

Sale returned to the Red Sox rotation three weeks ago after recovering from Tommy John surgery and has pitched to an impressive 2.52 ERA with a WHIP of 1.13 in four starts. 

The Rays will send Ryan Yarbrough to the mound, who was on the hill when the Rays defeated the Sox 8-5 last Tuesday. Yarbrough pitched well in that game but that was actually the first time all season that he hasn't been lit up by Boston — Yarbrough had allowed at least five earned runs in each of his previous three starts against the BoSox this year. 

Both of these squads are hitting the ball very well at the moment, but with Sale beginning to recapture his previous All-Star form and Yarbrough having a poor track record against the Red Sox, we're backing the home side on the moneyline. 

PREDICTION: Boston (-139)

Over/Under pick

These teams have been the best offensive squads in the majors over the last month: Boston leads the majors with an OPS of .832 and ranks second with 5.64 runs per game over the last 30 days, while the Rays are second in OPS (.825) and first in scoring (6.81 runs per game) over the same span.

We mentioned Yarbrough's struggles against the Red Sox and despite a strong performance in his last outing against Boston, the lefty still has a bloated 9.00 ERA in four starts against them this season. While he held strong last week at pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field, we're not sure if he'll have the same success at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox average an MLB-best 5.71 runs per game. 

While Boston leads the majors in scoring at home, the Rays lead the way when it comes to scoring on the road, plating 5.76 runs/game. 

The betting trends are also strongly leaning towards the Over, with the Rays going 9-1 O/U in their last 10 games as an underdog while the Red Sox are 7-1 to the Over in their previous eight contests at home. With the Over also going 12-3-1 in the last 16 meetings between these AL East rivals, back it again on Labor Day.

PREDICTION: Over 9 (+100)

Rays vs Red Sox betting card

  • Boston ML (-139)
  • Over 9 (+100)

Picks made on 9/06/2021 at 9:20 a.m. ET

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