One month ago, Tampa Bay was virtually out of the playoffs race, with a huge gap separating them from the leading Baltimore. Since then, the Rays greatly improved their game and they now sit on the fourth place, just seven games behind the Orioles. One of the reasons for why they are back in the fray has to do with the manner in which starting pitchers performed over the last couple of weeks.
Tampa Bay is now riding a hot winning streak that consists of seven consecutive games, with the confrontation against the Red Sox having the potential of delivering the eighth victory. The odds for that to happen are pretty good and bookmakers regard them as favorites to prevail, with most of them offering odds of 1.70. It is decent value, especially with David Ortiz battered after he suffered an injury and he is unlikely to play tonight.
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140724&content_id=86075206¬ebook_id=86118062&vkey=notebook_bos&c_id=bos doesn’t give too many reasons for Boston fans to be optimistic, because David is not fully recovered. Even if he plays tonight he won’t do it at full potential, which might not be enough against David Price who won 10 games out of 17 and allowed an average of three runs per match.
His counterpart will be Lester who won just as many decisions the season, but much to his credit he was the one carrying the team, not the other way around. What makes him a force to be reckoned with tonight is that he allowed just a bit over two runs per match on average and pitched in those games. The Red Sox have struggled recently, mostly due to their inability to defend narrow leads and relievers are the ones to blame. Recent results were not particularly convincing and the visitors won’t have an easy time tonight.
Under normal circumstances, even odds for Boston to prevail on the road would be decently good but there are two main reasons for why punters should bet against them. On one hand, David Ortiz is unlikely to play and on the other, Tampa Bay is the hottest team in baseball with seven victories in a row. This is guaranteed to be an interesting game to watch, but punters should side with the favorites here and could even push their luck by trusting them to cover the -1.5 runs spread for the sake of better odds.