Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays Series Preview

Boston vs. Tampa Bay

The Boston Red Sox will play their last series of 2023 at Fenway Park when they take on the Tampa Bay Rays for a two-game series. The Red Sox are coming in off a series loss to the Chicago White Sox in which they dropped two out of three. The Rays are coming in off a series loss, and they dropped two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays. This season, the Red Sox head-to-head against the Rays are 2-9 and have been outscored 59-39.

Boston Red Sox (76-80) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (95-62)

Game 1:

Date: Tuesday, September 26
Time: 7:10 pm EST
Broadcast: NESN

Game 2:

Date: Wednesday, September 27
Time: 6:10 pm EST
Broadcast: NESN

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: Tanner Houck (5-9, 4.92 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (15-8, 3.44 ERA)

Red Sox Houck
FILED UNDER: RED SOX ANALYSIS Tanner Houck Belongs in the Bullpen. Right now, he doesn’t have the arsenal of a complete starter. By Jacob Roy@Jake3Roy May 2, 2023, 5:00 am EDT 41 Comments / 41 New Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Houck will get the ball to kick off the series against the Rays, making his 20th start of the season. Houck posts a 4.45 FIP, a 1.35 WHIP, a 1.2 HR/9, a 3.5 BB/9, and an 8.4 K/9. Houck’s last start came against the Texas Rangers, in which he went four innings, giving up two runs on three hits; he walked four and struck out four. In his career against Tampa Bay, Houck is 1-2 in six appearances, with two being starts; he posts a 4.34 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and an 11.6 K/9. This season, he has faced the Rays once, taking a loss going five innings, giving up four runs on five hits; he walked four and struck out four. Zach Eflin will oppose Houck, who is making his 31st start of the season. Eflin posts a 2.97 FIP, a 1.02 WHIP, a 0.9 HR/9, a 1.3 BB/9, and a 9.5 K/9. In his career against the Red Sox, Eflin has made three starts with a 6.43 ERA, a 1.64 WHIP, and a 13.5 K/9.

Game 2: Brayan Bello (12-10, 4.11 ERA) vs. Tyler Glasnow (9-7, 3.68 ERA)

Red Sox Bello

Bello will get the finale of this short series and make his last start of 2023. Bello’s previous start came against the Rangers, in which he gave up eight runs on eight hits in three innings of work; he walked four and struck out two. He posts a 4.42 FIP, a 1.31 WHIP, a 1.3 HR/9, a 2.6 BB/9, and a 7.7 K/9. He made four starts in his career against the Rays, going 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA, a 1.65 WHIP, and an 8.6 K/9. This season against them, Bello has made two starts, going 1-1, giving up six runs on 11 hits over 12 innings of work; he has walked a combined three batters and struck out 12. Bello will face Tyler Glasnow for the Rays, who is making his 21st start of the year. He posts a 3.03 FIP, a 1.10 WHIP, a 1.0 HR/9, a 2.8 BB/9, and a 12.0 K/9. He has made ten starts in his career against the Red Sox, going 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and a 12.7 K/9. This season against them, he has made two starts going 1-0, giving up two runs on seven hits in 11.1 innings of work; he has walked four and struck out 20.

Red Sox vs. Rays Batting Leaders

Boston vs. Tampa Bay
ESPN

Series Prediction

This short series for the Red Sox seems like it’ll be tough with the pitching matchups. The first game points to Tampa Bay taking it, but it depends on what Houck the Red Sox get. In game two, it will be a must-see pitching matchup with Bello making his last start of the season and Tyler Glasnow also making his. Still, he will be pitching in the postseason with the Rays all but wrapping up the first wild card spot and will face off with either Toronto, Houston, Texas, or Seattle. I think the Red Sox get swept in this series just because of the pitching matchups, but game two will be close, looking like a 3-2 final.

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