The Boston Red Sox continue their road trip heading to St. Petersburg, Florida, to face the Tampa Bay Rays for a three-game series. The Red Sox are coming off a series win over the Kansas City Royals, taking two out of three. The Rays are coming in off a series loss to the Cleveland Guardians, in which they won one of the three games. This season, head to head, the Red Sox are 1-7 against the Rays and have been outscored 45-25.
Boston Red Sox (71-66) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (83-54)
Date: Monday, September 4
Time: 4:10 pm EST
Date: Tuesday, September 5
Time: 6:40 pm EST
Date: Wednesday, September 6
Time: 6:40 pm EST
Probable Starting Pitchers
Game 1: Brayan Bello (10-8, 3.57 ERA) vs. Aaron Civale (7-3, 2.64 ERA)
Bello will get the ball for the Red Sox to start the series. He is making his 24th start and posts a 4.47 FIP, a 1.28 WHIP, a 2.5 BB/9, and a 7.3 K/9. His last start came against the Astros, in which he went 4.2 innings, giving up three runs, only two earned runs on four hits; he walked two and struck out two. Bello faced the Rays earlier this season, going six innings, giving up three runs on six hits; he walked one and struck out five and also took the loss. Bello will face Aaron Civale, who the Rays acquired from the Guardians. This will be his sixth start with the Rays posting a 2-1 record with a 3.55 ERA, a 2.67 FIP, a 1.34 WHIP, a 0.7 BB/9, and an 8.9 K/9. He faced the Red Sox earlier this season when he was with the Guardians, going 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits; he walked two and struck out three.
Game 2: Kutter Crawford (6-7, 4.08 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (13-8, 3.41 ERA)
Crawford will start the middle game and is making his 27th appearance and 19th start of the season. He posts a 4.07 FIP, a 1.13 WHIP, a 2.3 BB/9, and an 8.9 K/9. Crawford’s last start came against the Astros, and he was hit hard going 2.2 innings, giving up six runs in seven hits; he walked one and struck out one. He has faced the Rays already this season, going three innings, giving up one run on two hits; he didn’t issue a walk and struck out three. Zach Eflin will get the start for Tampa Bay. Eflin is making his 27th start of the season, posting a 3.07 FIP, a 1.02 WHIP, a 1.2 BB/9, and a 9.0 K/9. Eflin has made two starts in his career against the Red Sox, posting a 7.00 ERA, a 1.89 WHIP, and a 14.0 K/9.
Game 3: James Paxton (7-4, 3.99 ERA) vs. Tyler Glasnow (7-4, 3.12 ERA)
Paxton will start the finale for the Red Sox as he makes his 20th start of the season. Paxton posts a 4.69 FIP, a 1.31 WHIP, a 3.1 BB/9, and a 9.5 K/9. His last start came against the Royals, and he struggled, going only 1.1 innings, giving up six runs on five hits; he walked two and didn’t record a strikeout. Paxton has faced the Rays seven times in his career, going 3-1 with a 3.61 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and an 11.7 K/9. Paxton will face Tyler Glasnow, who is making his 17th start of the season. He posts a 2.98 FIP, a 1.04 WHIP, a 2.6 BB/9, and an 11.5 K/9. Glasnow started against the Red Sox in June, going 5.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits; he walked three and struck out six.
Red Sox vs. Rays Batting Leaders
The Red Sox are still holding on for a chance at the postseason, and the next few upcoming series could benefit them. This series will be a tough one based on the pitching matchups. However, Tampa Bay has struggled ever since their hot start when they started the season 40-18, but since then, they have gone 43-36. I have the Red Sox pulling a little upset, taking two out of three over the Rays and making the American League Wild Card race close.