Red Sox vs Rays Picks and Predictions: It's Wander Franco Time In TB

The Rays are slumping, but a matchup against struggling Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez — and the callup of top prospect Wander Franco — has our MLB betting picks for today loving the value on Tampa Bay.

Posted: Jun 22, 2021 8:23 AM ET Updated: Jun 22, 2021 4:40 PM ET Est Time: 4 min
Wander Franco Tampa Bay Rays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Baseball’s top prospect makes his MLB debut as Wander Franco takes the field for the first time when the Tampa Bay Rays host the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.

The 20-year-old shortstop will be expected to contribute to a Rays team that has lost six in a row and fallen a half-game behind the Red Sox in the American League East standings.

Check out our MLB betting free picks and predictions for Red Sox vs. Rays on Tuesday, June 22, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Red Sox vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Sun, NESN

Red Sox vs Rays odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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MLB sharp money and line movement report

By Patrick Everson

As of 4:30 p.m. ET, Tampa Bay is a -132 favorite at TwinSpires Sportsbook, up from a -114 opener. The Rays are attracting 60 percent of bets and 68 percent of cash on the moneyline. The total is down a full run to 7.5, with 54 percent of bets/72 percent of dollars on the Under.

Check out the full line movement for this game

Red Sox vs Rays betting preview

Starting pitchers

Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4, 6.21 ERA): It has been a rocky year for Rodriguez. The lefty has been finding too much of the plate and that has resulted in a 1.47 WHIP and opponents hitting nearly .300 to go along with that ugly ERA. Rodriguez also hasn’t recorded a quality start since April 25.

Ryan Yarbrough (4-3, 4.14 ERA): Andrew Kittredge will be the opener in this game but Ryan Yarbrough will get the bulk of the innings for the Rays in this one. Yarbrough is coming off one of his worst starts of the season, surrendering five earned runs on 10 hits but the lefty had allowed three runs or fewer in his previous seven appearances.

Weather

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

Key injuries

Red Sox: Matt Carasiti RP (Out), Ryan Brasier RP (Out).
Rays: Chaz Roe RP (Out), Oliver Drake RP (Out), Nick Anderson RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 5-0 in Eduardo Rodriguez's last five starts and 18-6-2 in the last 26 meetings between the Red Sox and Rays.  Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Rays.

Moneyline pick

The Rays enter this matchup on a six-game losing streak, their longest such streak of the season. That includes a four-game-sweep by the Mariners in Seattle in which they scored just 13 runs. So, the Rays are hoping Franco can provide a boost to an offense that ranks 23rd in batting average.

Franco, who is touted as the rare five-tool prospect, will get a nice matchup in his Big-League debut going against Rodriguez. The lefty has been hit hard lately, pitching to a 7.63 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP over his last nine starts. 

The Rays counter Rodriguez with Yarbrough, but first up is Kittredge, who has been outstanding in whatever role manager Kevin Cash has needed from him. The right-hander has a 1.34 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 33 2-3 innings over 25 games.

Kittredge will hand off to Yarbrough, who is coming off a poor outing but has a 3.03 ERA over his last seven starts. The lefty uses his cutter and changeup to create a lot of soft contact and ranks in the 97th percentile in both average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage. 

While the Red Sox have a potent lineup, they have been a little boom-or-bust lately, scoring seven or more runs three times in the last eight games and four or fewer in the other five. With the edge in pitching, we like the value with the Rays here.

PREDICTION: Rays (-115)

Over/Under pick

The total for this AL East matchup is 8.0 and at a quick glance, that feels too low. For starters, the Rays should be able to handle the slumping Rodriguez, who has allowed four or more runs in seven of his last nine starts. While they don’t hit for a great average, they still rank sixth in scoring off of left-handed pitching this season.

Second, even though we like the Rays to get the better of the Red Sox in this one, you can’t deny how good this Boston lineup has been. The Red Sox rank fourth in scoring, plating 5.15 runs per game, and are third in batting average, and fourth in OPS.

There is enough firepower in this game to go Over this number.

PREDICTION: Over 8 (-110)

Red Sox vs Rays betting card

  • Rays (-115)
  • Over 8 (-110)

Picks made on 6/22/2021 at 1:16 a.m. ET

MLB parlays

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