The Boston Red Sox will try again to hand the Tampa Bay Rays their first loss of the 2023 MLB season in the second game of a three-game set from Tropicana Field on Tuesday, April 11th. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. ET. Garrett Whitlock (4-2, 3.45 ERA in 2022) will be making his season debut on the hill for Boston, while Tampa counters with ace Shane McClanahan (2-0, 1.50 ERA).
The Rays are currently -180 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Red Sox are +155 underdogs. The run total is set at 7.5.
Red Sox-Rays picks: Tuesday, April 11th
Out: OF Adam Duvall (wrist), SP Brayan Bello (elbow), SP James Paxton (hamstring), SS Trevor Story (elbow), INF Adalberto Mondesi (knee)
Day to day: INF Taylor Walls (elbow)
Out: OF Jose Siri (hamstring), SP Tyler Glasnow (oblique), SP Shane Baz (Tommy John), RP Andrew Kittredge (Tommy John)
Garrett Whitlock vs. Shane McClanahan
Whitlock will be making his first start of 2023 after ramping up slowly this spring as he recovered from offseason hip surgery. He’s been a very effective pitcher over his first two MLB seasons, with a 2.73 ERA and 163 strikeouts over 151.2 innings from 2021-2022, but this will be the first year he spends as a full-time starter. He’s pitched well against Tampa in the past, with a 1-1 record and 3.00 ERA in six appearances, but only one of those was a start.
McClanahan has quickly established himself as one of the most dominant arms in baseball, with a fastball that sits in the high 90s and a wipeout slider. He’s won each of his starts so far this year, allowing just two runs in 12 innings of work — albeit against the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals. The lefty has dominated the Red Sox thus far in his young career, with a 2.45 ERA in five starts.
I’m normally skeptical of pitchers coming off the injured list, but Whitlock looked sensational in his last Minor League tune-up, striking out eight — and, most importantly, throwing six innings, a sign that he’s sufficiently built up to handle a starter’s workload. Combine that with McClanahan’s dominance — especially with Boston’s lefty masher, Adam Duvall, going on the IL — and this has under written all over it, even with a low total. Plus, these two teams just played a 1-0 game on Monday.
Pick: Under 7.5
Make it 11-0 for Tampa. McClanahan is just too good to be denied here, although I do think the Red Sox will keep this one close like they did on Monday night.