After a series down in Florida that Boston took 3-1, the Rays and Red Sox meet again, this time in Boston. Since a bullpen implosion handed Tampa Bay the Opening Day game the Red Sox have run off five wins on the spin, while Tampa have dropped their last five, including two heavy losses to the Yankees.
Boston also got the day off yesterday while the Rays were being battered, so will a rested Red Sox team get the better of Tampa again? Or will the sight of their old ace rekindle the fight in the Rays?
David Price (LHP) Vs. Yonny Chirinos (RHP)
Price was wonderful last time out. He took the ball for game two down in Tampa and threw seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits, picking up five strikeouts and not allowing a walk. It was an incredibly reassuring start for Price given his troubles last year.
Chirinos' only major league experience is pitching four innings at the back end of a 2-1 loss to Boston on Sunday. He gets the ball today to start a bullpen game, which the Rays are planning to scatter around the season in place of a traditional fifth starter. His first outing was encouraging, but can he replicate that success?
|Rays Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Duffy, 3B||0||.286||.286 |
| Red Sox Lineup ||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Devers, 3B||0||.318|| .348|
|Bradley Jr, CF||0||.118||.250|
Who's hot, who's not
The Rays offense is very much not hot. They rank 26th in runs scored, 27th in batting average, and 28th in on-base percentage. It has not been a good start to the season for them. Individually, only Matt Duffy is seeing the ball well, making a matchup against Price a very tough ask for them.
The Red Sox are not yet hitting for power, with just four bombs to their name so far. They are also right in the middle of the Majors in BA (15th) and OBP (16th). Mookie Betts has been the man for them at the top of the lineup as expected, while Xander Bogaerts is fuelling the middle of the order while fans wait anxiously for JD Martinez to start cracking balls over the Green Monster.
Prediction: Red Sox 4 - 2 Rays
It is tough to see a path to many runs for the Rays. Price is looking strong and the bullpen is rested even after a 13-inning game on Tuesday. The Red Sox are off to their best start since 2006 and look every bit the World Series contender they hoped to be. With stingy pitching and a lineup full of run producers they look to be too much for the Rays today, especially given their own poor form.
Where to watch
The game will be broadcast live on FSFL and NESN. It will also be streamed live on MLB.tv for out of market subscribers. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05pm ET.