Red Sox vs Rays Picks and Predictions: Boston's Struggles at The Trop Continue

The BoSox go for a series split with Tampa but will have to do it at a place they've struggled at (1-7 in their last eight games at The Trop) behind Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been hammered this season. Find out who we like in our Red Sox vs. Rays picks.

Last Updated: Sep 2, 2021 11:09 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Wander Franco Tampa Bay Rays MLB
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The Boston Red Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak at Tropicana Field with a much-needed 3-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays last night.

But oddsmakers don't expect them to continue that success tonight with MLB betting lines installing them as +147 underdogs for the series finale in St. Petersburg.

Here are our best free Red Sox vs. Rays picks and predictions for Thursday, September 2. 

Red Sox vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay, FL
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: NESN, Bally Sports Sun

Red Sox vs Rays odds

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Starting pitchers

Eduardo Rodriguez (10-7, 5.12 ERA): After consecutive seasons with an ERA under 4.00, Rodriguez has had mixed results this year and is allowing opponents to bat .275. In his last two starts, the southpaw has surrendered 16 hits and eight runs in 10 2-3 innings versus Cleveland and Texas. 

Shane McClanahan (9-4, 3.59 ERA): The rookie left-hander has thrown the ball well this year, pitching to a 1.29 WHIP with an opponent batting average of .252 through 20 starts. McClanahan is coming off back-to-back wins against the Orioles where he allowed a total of three runs across 11 innings.

Weather

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

Key injuries

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).
Rays: Ji-Man Choi 1B (Out), Brett Phillips OF (Out), Nick Anderson RP (Out), Ryan Thompson RP (Out), Matt Wisler RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Red Sox are 1-7 in their last eight games in Tampa Bay. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Rays.

Moneyline pick

The Red Sox improved their record to 76-59 after squeezing out a one-run win last night. However, they're still nine games behind the Rays in the AL East, and with just a two-game lead on the A's for the final wild-card spot, they can't afford another slide.

The BoSox continue to hit the ball well but pitching has been a major issue and only the recently returned Chris Sale (who got the start last night) and Nathan Eovaldi have been reliable in their rotation. 

Tonight, Rodriguez will get the ball and the veteran has been inconsistent this season, posting career-worst numbers in ERA (5.12), WHIP (1.39), and OBA (.275). 

The Rays will respond with the 24-year-old McClanahan, who has four pitches that he throws with terrific velocity and solid command. In his last eight starts, McClanahan has pitched to a 2.84 ERA and Tampa Bay has won seven of those contests.

The Rays have also been lights out at the plate, leading the majors with an OPS of .825 over the last 30 days.

Despite the Red Sox's win yesterday, they're still 5-14 in their last 19 games on the road and just 1-7 in their previous eight contests at The Trop. With the Rays 38-13 in their last 51 contests against AL East foes, expect them to bounce back with a win tonight. 

PREDICTION: Tampa Bay (-161)

Over/Under pick

Only five runs were scored in yesterday's contest but the Over has still gone a commanding 22-8-2 in the last 32 meetings between these divisional foes.

McClanahan has solid stuff and good numbers this season but his expected ERA of 4.60 indicates that some regression could be on the horizon — especially against a dangerous Red Sox lineup that ranks second in the majors in OPS (.816) and scoring (5.41 runs/game) over the last 30 days. 

The club that leads the majors in those two categories? Why that's none other than the Rays, who are plating a whopping 7.08 runs per game over that span. 

With the Rays going 7-2-1 O/U in their last 10 games at home and the BoSox going 7-3 to the Over in their previous 10 contests overall, take the Over 7.5 tonight. 

PREDICTION: Over 7.5 (-110)

Red Sox vs Rays betting card

  • Tampa Bay (-161)
  • Over 7.5 (-110)

Picks made on 9/02/2021 at 10:40 a.m. ET

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