The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays square off on Wednesday with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. EST. The game takes place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. The Sox will have Josh Winckowski on the hill, while Tampa Bay will send out Shane McClanahan to toe the rubber.
The Red Sox currently sit just a half-game back of the second-place Rays in the AL East standings but came into this series with a lead over Tampa in the division. Boston has lost two straight to Tampa Bay and six of their last eight overall. Of their last five games against the Rays, they’ve lost four straight. Winckowski is making just his sixth Major League start and he’s been solid, allowing 15 earned runs in 32 innings, especially considering the talent he’s gone up against in the AL East. Still, he gave up six earned runs in just five frames in his last outing, so that could shake his confidence against a good Rays lineup.
Tampa Bay seems to have shaken off a rough streak about a month ago and has started winning more consistently again. They’ve taken six of their last 10 overall games, despite slipping up on their last road trip and surprisingly getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds. The good news for the Rays is that they have McClanahan on the hill today. Arguably the best pitcher in the American League, he’s allowed just seven earned runs in nearly his last 50 innings pitched and has earned 60 strikeouts in that span. In his lone start against Boston this year he tossed seven frames and gave up just two earned runs while striking out seven.
Red Sox vs. Rays
Pitchers: Josh Winckowski vs. Shane McClanahan
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. EST
Red Sox local broadcast: NESN
Rays local broadcast: Bally Sports Sun
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Rays -1.5
Run total: 7
Moneyline odds: Rays -190, Red Sox +160
Moneyline pick: Rays -190
It’s really hard to pick against McClanahan whenever he’s on the hill. That’s why you shouldn’t. On top of the Rays having their ace out there, they’ve also just played much better than Boston has in the last week or so and they hold a 6-2 season series lead over Boston this year.
Player prop pick: Isaac Paredes over 0.5 hits (-200)
Paredes is hitting extremely well recently, getting 10 hits in his last 10 games, including two home runs and two doubles. Over that span, he’s racked up six RBI too. Though he’s never faced Winckowski before, he should be able to match the rookie.
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