Red Sox vs Rays Picks and Predictions: Tampa Bay Trumps Boston to Open Series

With just 1.5 games separating Tampa Bay and Boston in the AL East standings, these teams will kick off a four-game series tonight. Who will capture Game 1? Find out in our MLB betting picks and predictions for the Red Sox vs. Rays.

Last Updated: Jul 11, 2022 4:24 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Yandy Diaz Tampa Bay Rays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox lead the Tampa Bay Rays by just 1.5 games heading into this week’s four-game set at the Trop, and are just a few days removed from a three-game series at Fenway Park which Tampa took two games to one.

The BoSox hand the ball to rookie Brayan Bello, who is making just his second career start. Meanwhile, it will be a bullpen day for the home side, which isn’t usually a bad thing. So, who has the MLB betting edge?

Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for Red Sox vs. Rays on Monday, July 11.

Red Sox vs Rays odds

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

The Rays opened this American League East showdown as about even-money underdogs but have seen the early money with both sides at about -110 as of Monday afternoon. The total hit the board at 7.5 with that number now juiced to the Over.

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.

Red Sox vs Rays predictions

Picks made on 7/11/2022 at 3:45 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Red Sox vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, Tampa, FL
Date: Monday, July 11, 2022
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: NESN, Bally Sports Sun

Red Sox vs Rays betting preview

Starting pitchers

Brayan Bello (0-1, 9.00 ERA): Bello is making just his second career start, with The first just five days ago against this same Rays team. Tampa worked the right-hander for four runs on six hits and three walks over four innings. He’ll look for a better outing in his encore.

Matt Wisler (2-3, 2.58 ERA): Wilser will work as an opener tonight and will try to get his team off to the right foot. In his last four appearances, he's given up zero earned runs in 3 1-3 innings of work.

Weather

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 Red Sox are 4-10 in their last 14 games in Tampa Bay. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Rays

Red Sox vs Rays 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

The Red Sox earned a split with the rival Yankees over the weekend, taking the final two games of their four-game series. As a result, they remain 14 games behind the Bronx Bombers for first place in the AL East.

The Rays on the hand, are coming off a tough weekend in Cincinnati, where they were swept by the lowly Reds as their injury list seems to grow by the day. They trail the Red Sox by just 1.5 games for the top AL wildcard spot heading into this matchup. A matchup they should have some confidence heading into.

While Bello has some electric stuff, he had trouble locating in that last start, particularly with his breaking pitches. Tampa Bay was patient at the plate in Bello’s Big-League debut, working counts in its favor and taking advantage when it could. 

Even though the Rays’ offense strikes outs a bunch and can be streaky, it has been a little more consistent this month, ranking fourth in batting average, seventh in OPS, and third in wRC+ so far in July.

On the other side, it looks like it's going to be a bullpen day for Tampa. This isn’t a bad thing when your manager is Kevin Cash and your relievers rank eighth in ERA and ninth in WHIP. 

Those relievers will be in tough against a strong Boston lineup that exploded for 17 runs over its last two games against the juggernaut Yankees, but that’s the exact same amount of runs they have put up in six games against the Rays this season. 

Even with all the injuries Tampa Bay is dealing with, it should be a bigger favorite going against Bello once again — this time at home.

Prediction: Rays moneyline (-110 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

When it comes to the total this number seems a little low, so right off the bat, I recommend jumping on the Over 7.5 before it turns into 8 everywhere. And here’s why.

I already noted that this Rays team has been better at the dish this month and has proven capable of putting up some good numbers against Bello, scoring four times in the first four innings when they last met. They are also plating 5.1 runs per game over 10 games in the month of July. 

Meanwhile, the Red Sox started this month a little slow, scoring four runs or fewer in five of their first six games. But they have shown this is still one of the best lineups in baseball that can pop off at any time, scoring 27 in their last four games, and putting up no fewer than five over that span. 

Even though Tampa Bay has had Boston's number at the Trop, the visitors should be able to contribute enough to send this one Over the total.

Prediction: Over 7.5 (-118 at FanDuel)

Best bet

Bello should settle down a little bit in his second start. He knows what it’s like to warm up for a Big-League game, and he’s away from the pressure of Fenway Park. That said, having to face the same team twice in a row is tough. Particularly because the Rays will know what to look for this time around.

Yandy Diaz has been a beast in the leadoff spot for Tampa recently, and he’ll set the tone early tonight. If Wisler is able to post a scoreless frame in the first inning, which he has done in 14 of his last 17 appearances — including when he finished off the Red Sox in the ninth back on July 6 — the Rays are going to have a great opportunity to strike first. The plus money is a solid value here.

Pick: Rays to score first (+120 at DraftKings)

MLB parlays

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