Red Sox vs Rays Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Tonight’s MLB Game

Cooper Criswell of the Red Sox and Zack Littell of the Rays faced off at Fenway last week, and it was anything but a crisply-pitched affair. Fortunately for Boston, their superior bullpen and lineup can carry the day, per our MLB betting picks.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
May 21, 2024 • 12:12 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays face off in the second contest of a three-game set on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox took the series opener 5-0 yesterday to pull within a half-game of the Rays in the AL East standings.

See why my MLB picks are expecting another win for the visitors as I make my Red Sox vs. Rays predictions for Tuesday, May 21. 

Red Sox vs Rays prediction

My best bet
Red Sox moneyline (+120 at DraftKings)

My analysis

The Boston Red Sox are starting Cooper Criswell today while the Tampa Bay Rays are responding with Zack Littell. We had the same pitching duel last week at Fenway Park, with the Rays winning 7-5.

Littell has come out of the bullpen for most of his MLB career, but the Rays moved him into the rotation last July with mixed results. He began this season on fire, pitching to a 1.17 ERA through his first three starts, but he has regressed with a 4.46 ERA and an OBA of .296 over his last six outings. He was shaky against Boston last Thursday, giving up four runs and seven hits through five innings. 

Criswell also struggled in that contest, giving up five runs (three earned) before getting the hook midway through the fourth inning. That said, Criswell entered that game with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP through six games. The BoSox are also solid behind Criswell with their relievers in the Top 10 in both ERA (3.48) and WHIP (1.24). Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's banged-up bullpen is 21st in ERA (4.22) and 15th in WHIP (1.30). 

Boston also has far better hitting analytics with the Red Sox 10th in the majors in hard-hit rate (40.3%) and seventh in barrel rate (8.5%). The Rays are just 29th in hard-hit rate (36.1%) and 28th in barrel rate (6.2%). 

It's pretty much a push when comparing these starters, but with the Red Sox boasting the better bullpen and lineup, it makes sense to take them at plus money here. 

Red Sox vs Rays same-game parlay (SGP)

Red Sox moneyline

Isaac Paredes 2+ total bases

Jarren Duran Under 1.5 hits

Isaac Paredes broke out last season, slugging 31 homers with 98 RBI in 143 games. He's been even better this season, slashing .303/.391/.509 and he picked up a hit against Criswell last week. Paredes also rakes at Tropicana Park, slugging .517 at home this year and .544 last year. 

Jarren Duran has been one of Boston's most productive hitters but the O/U of 1.5 on his hits seems a off here. Keep in mind that he has gone below this number in 10 of his last 12 games. He also hits significantly worse on the road than at home, batting .264 this year and .276 last season. 

Taking the Red Sox on the moneyline while fading Duran and backing Paredes provides a nice multiplier on this SGP.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Red Sox vs Rays odds

Red Sox vs Rays live odds

Red Sox vs Rays opening odds

  • Run line: Boston +1.5 (-200) | Tampa Bay -1.5 (+165)
  • Moneyline: Boston +105 | Tampa Bay -125
  • Over/Under: Over 8 (+100) | Under 8 (-120)

Red Sox vs Rays spread and Over/Under analysis

  • Early money has come in on the home side and the Over, with the Rays shifting from -125 to -140 and the total ticking up from 8 to 8.5.
  • The Red Sox won 5-0 last to improve to 24-24 on the season and sit just half a game behind the Rays in the standings.
  • The Rays have dropped their last two games but were 11-4 in their previous 15 contests before that.
  • These teams combined for 12 runs with the same starters on the mound last week but both squads are in the bottom half of the majors in batting average.

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Red Sox vs Rays trend

The Red Sox have covered the F5 run line in 16 of their last 25 away games (+6.70 Units / 22% ROI). Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs Rays.

Red Sox vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Date: Tuesday, 5-21-2024
First pitch: 6:50 p.m. ET
Red Sox starting pitcher: Cooper Criswell
(2-1, 2.76 ERA)
Rays starting pitcher: Zack Littell
(2-2, 3.44 ERA)

Red Sox vs Rays latest injuries

Red Sox vs Rays weather

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