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Tampa is one of the best road teams in baseball, while Boston has been great at home prior to this series. The Rays continue to just dominate with the best record in baseball the past two months, but Boston is desperate to win and isn’t going to get swept out of Fenway. We like Boston Moneyline.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (50-46-2)
It’s the best time of year in baseball as the postseason push is underway. Every game throughout the year counts — but everything is heightened when there are just a few weeks left and the Red Sox find themselves in a precarious position.
Losers of three in a row, Boston is now in second in what is an incredibly tight Wild Card race, just half a game back of Boston. Though the Blue Jays, who won on Tuesday are now just two games back, while the Mariners trail by two-and-a-half games and the Athletics are three out.
For most of the season, the Red Sox seemed like a lock for October. Now, it’s incredibly dicey.
The major question for Boston all year has been the pitching staff and during the last three games they’ve been absolutely terrible, surrender 34 runs as a team over the past three games.
The good news for the Rays — they don’t have to worry about a Wild Card race. The AL East crown hasn’t been placed on Tampa’s metaphorical head, but that’s a formality at this point with a 9.5 game lead and just more than three weeks remaining.
Tampa has done it by winning on the road — 19-5 in its last 24 games.
Tampa has done it by winning against the best teams — 24-9 in the last 33 vs. teams over .500.
Tampa has done it by winning against its rivals — 41-15 in the last 56 division games.
Despite what’s happened in recent nights to Boston, this game should be relatively tightly contested considering both squads have pitchers in the middle of solid seasons on the mound.
The Rays go with lefty Shane McClanahan, who will look to bounce back after suffering a loss against these same Red Sox a week ago. Overall, the 24-year-old has been rock solid for Tampa. From Cape Coral, Fla. McClanahan is 9-5 on the season with a 3.76 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 125 strikeouts in 105.1 innings.
That rough outing against Boston snapped a month of great performances as he went a perfect 5-0 and finished with a 2.76 ERA, racking up three quality starts and striking out 33 in 29.1 innings.
For Boston, it’s Nathan Eovaldi, who has been above average as well. The 31-year-old is 10-8 this season, entering the game with a 3.73 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 163 strikeouts in 156.2 innings.
Eovaldi has been consistent all year long, finishing four of the first five months of the season with an ERA below four and going five innings or longer, and giving up three runs or fewer in nine of his last 12 starts.
We’re picking the ageless wonder for Tampa Bay in Nelson Cruz. He became the oldest player (41) to hit 30 home runs in a season yesterday after belting a 410-foot shot in the third inning. He had a huge day, going 4-of-5 with three runs scored and four RBIs.
For Boston, We’re looking for someone who is good against lefties and the man is Bobby Dalbec. He flies under the radar, but the power-hitting first baseman does well against southpaws, hitting .272 (41-of-147) with six home runs, 31 RBIs, and a .817 OPS.
|Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox Information|
|Teams||Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox|
|Location||Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts|
|Time||Wednesday, Sept. 8, 7:10 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||Bally Sports Sun, New England Sports Network, MLB.TV|
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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