Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
League : MLB

Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox Prediction & Preview



Image licensed from USA Today Sport 

The Boston Red Sox travel to Tampa Bay to face the Rays in Game One of the American League Divisional Series. The Red Sox went 92-70 in the regular season and are coming off a big 6-2 Wild Card win over the New York Yankees. The Rays went 100-62 in the regular season to secure the best record in the American League. For Game One, the Red Sox will turn to Eduardo Rodriguez as their starting pitcher while the Rays will turn to Shane McClanahan to start the game.

Red Sox hope lineup helps out Rodriguez

The Red Sox have experienced a roller-coaster season but finished the year with one of the most complete rosters in the American League. Eduardo Rodgriguez has turned himself into one of the best starting pitchers on the team with a season where he allowed only 87 runs in 31 starts while tossing 185 strikeouts. Moreover, Rodriguez is allowing a .233 expected opponent Batting Average, a .365 expected opponent Slugging Percentage, and a 3.55 expected ERA.
The hope is that the offense can help out Rodriguez, as the lineup is scoring 5.12 runs per game. Rafael Devers has 38 home runs a .279 Batting Average, a .352 On-Base Percentage, and a .538 Slugging Percentage while Bobby Dalbec and Hunter Renfroe have combined for 56 home runs but the back half of the lineup has also stepped up. Xander Bogaerts has 23 home runs and started the scoring in the Wild Card game with a 2 run home run while trade acquisition Kyle Schwarber has eight home runs since joining the team including a blast in the Wild Card game to help propel the team to a victory. With six active batters in the batting order with 10 home runs or more, the Red Sox have a tough lineup to put away.


Rays have one of the best offenses in the MLB

The Rays finished with the best record in the American League dominating both on the mound and at the plate. Shane McClanahan has progressed into one of the Rays' best starting pitchers as he has allowed 49 runs in 25 starts while tossing 141 strikeouts. The hope is McClanahan can limit contact with a .259 expected opponent Batting Average resulting in a 4.57 expected ERA.
The Rays have a strong pitching best but arguably the best offense in the game, scoring 5.29 runs per game, second-most in the MLB. Randy Arozarena has 20 home runs a .274 Batting Average, a .356 On-Base Percentage, and a .459 Slugging Percentage while Mike Zunino has 33 home runs and a .559 Slugging Percentage but the entire batting order has stepped up this season. Brandon Lowe and Austin Meadows have combined for 66 home runs while Yandy Diaz, Nelson Cruz, and Brett Phillips have combined for 39 home runs as part of a lineup that has an unprecedented 10 batters with 10 home runs or more this season.

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