The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays began a four-game series at Tropicana Field last night, with Tampa winning 10-5. Only half a game separates these clubs in the AL East and this will likely end up being a crucial series in the Wild Card race when the regular season wraps up.
Here are our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Red Sox vs. Rays on July 12.
Red Sox vs Rays odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
This line hit the board with the Red Sox at -117 and the total at 7.5. As of 11 a.m. ET, both numbers have stayed fairly steady with the BoSox topping out at -120 at most books.
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 7/12/2022 at 11:30 a.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, St. Petersburg, FL
• Date: Monday, July 12, 2022
• First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
• TV: NESN, Bally Sports Sun
Red Sox vs Rays betting preview
Chris Sale (0-0, 0.00 ERA): The veteran lefty will be making his season debut after missing time due to a fractured rib. Last season, Sale went 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA, and 1.34 WHIP in nine starts. In four minor league rehab appearances this year he allowed three runs and fanned 19 batters in 11 1-2 innings.
Corey Kluber (4-5, 3.62 ERA): The two-time Cy Young winner saw his career decline in injury-plagued 2019 and 2020 campaigns, but he seems to be back to being an effective starter in his first season with the Rays. He has a 1.11 WHIP and a .248 OBA in 16 starts this season and is coming off his best performance of the year, holding Boston to three hits through six shutout innings last Wednesday.
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Betting trend to know
The Red Sox are 4-10 in the last 14 meetings 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.
With just over half the season in the books, the New York Yankees have already built a massive lead atop the AL East, but the Red Sox, Rays, and Blue Jays are all battling it out for second place with just two games separating the three teams in the standings.
The Rays opened this series with a 10-5 victory last night, and have won five of their previous six games against Boston, including a 7-1 victory last Wednesday with today's starter Corey Kluber on the mound. Kluber was lights out in that contest and has pitched to a 2.91 ERA with a 0.95 WHIP in his last eight starts.
The Red Sox will give the ball to Chris Sale who will be making his season debut after injuring his rib cage in the spring.
Sale was solid last year, pitching to a 3.16 ERA in nine starts but his 1.34 WHIP and .269 OBA were far less impressive. He also got wrecked in two of his three starts vs. the Rays — including in the ALDS when he gave up five runs in just one inning.
Sale will likely have a tough time pitching deep into his first start which will mean plenty of innings for a Red Sox bullpen that's been shaky this year.
While Boston has a better lineup than Tampa Bay, especially at the top of the order, the Rays have been hitting .258 against southpaws which is good for seventh in the majors. That combined with Kluber's recent strong play has me leaning towards the home side on the moneyline.
Prediction: Rays ML (+102 at FanDuel)
Interestingly, both starters in this contest have had similar career trajectories. They both made multiple All-Star teams before suffering nasty injuries (a broken forearm for Kluber in 2019 and Tommy John surgery for Sale in 2020) but showed they were still capable of being sold starters last year.
However, neither look like the studs they used to be, making tonight's total of 7.5 look a tad too low.
Sale is making his season debut after an expected ERA 3.45 in 2021, while Kluber had an xERA of 4.03 last year and has an xERA of 3.92 this season. It's also worth noting that while Kluber looked terrific against the Sox last week, he struggled in his previous start vs. Boston in April when he surrendered 11 hits and four runs in five innings.
The Red Sox are third in the majors with 4.77 runs per game with that number bumping up to 5.04 over the last 30 days. While the Rays have struggled at the dish this year, they have played better recently, plating 5.44 runs per game over the last 10 days.
Prediction: Over 7.5 (-105 at DraftKings)
It's tough to trust Sale in his first start of the year and it's even tougher to trust this Boston bullpen. The Red Sox often don't play at their best at Tropicana Field and the Rays look a bit more reliable on the mound and have been hitting better over the last week and a half.
Boston definitely has the firepower, but there are too many signs pointing towards the underdogs for me not to take the plus money.
Pick: Rays ML (+102 at FanDuel)
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