Red Sox vs Rays MLB Pick for September 15th

by Kevin Roberts
on September 15, 2017

We notched our second straight win on Thursday, as the Houston Astros scored a nice 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The pickings were fairly slim on a light 8-game main slate last night, but the MLB betting landscape opens up significantly on Friday with a loaded 15-game slate.

That means we have plenty of betting options to peruse and one way or another, we shouldn’t have too much trouble locating some interesting value. The most interesting game on the surface appears to be an AL East clash between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.

There are other games to consider on the docket, but Chris Sale (16-7, 2.76 ERA) takes the mound for the Bo Sox and yet we can back Boston at just -196 at Bovada. And if we love the Red Sox in this spot, we can shoot for even more value with their -1.5 Run Line (-125).

Boston has been a wishy-washy 2-2 over their last four contests, but they remain in the driver’s seat to lock up first place in the AL East. Their effort to do so continues in Florida, where they’ll battle the rival Rays.

Boston Red Sox (-196)
Tampa Bay Rays (+168)
Total: 7.5

Chris Sale is back on the mound on Friday, as he prepares to face a Rays lineup he shutout (6 hits, 8 Ks, 0 earned runs) in his last start. On paper, this is a sublime matchup for Sale, who has handled Tampa Bay quite well (4-1, 2.06 ERA) across five starts in 2017.

Everything points to another Sale (and Red Sox) win in this spot, as Sale has been slightly better on the road, gets a positive park shift and faces a Rays offense that struggles mightily against southpaws.

Tampa Bay has a litany of powerful bats, but few thrive against left-handed pitching. As a whole, the Rays enter tonight’s showdown ranking just 19th in home runs and 27th in batting average. Known as a team that strikes out often, the Rays specifically aren’t great at establishing contact when facing lefties, as they come into this showdown leading MLB in strikeouts against that side of the plate.

It doesn’t look good for the Rays, who are still mildly in the MLB wild card mix at 72-75, but are headed in the wrong direction with a 4-6 run over their last 10 games.

The Rays are going to need their bats to get lucky in this one, while Matt Andriese (5-3, 4.46 ERA) may need to pitch his best game of the year.

That seems doubtful, as Andriese (11 runs given up over his last two starts) hasn’t been in great form lately. The 28-year old righty gets a pretty tough matchup on paper, too, as the Red Sox have one of the more efficient offenses in the majors.

Andriese hasn’t fared too well in this matchup, either. Boston tagged him for 6 runs in his last start and he’s produced an ugly 10.80 ERA across just two starts against them.

With more talent, the better arm and more on the line, Boston is the easy pick here tonight. The only question is whether or not to target the -1.5 Run Line and that feels obvious. We’re not getting that much value with them as a straight up pick (although in a game with Sale, we kind of are), while Boston taking this game by two runs at -125 feels like a steal.

We can also target the Under here if we want. Chris Sale is great at missing bats and preventing runs, plus we’re still getting solid value with the Under at -125. That’s in play, but the top bet is taking the Red Sox by two runs.

Pick: Boston Red Sox -1.5 Run Line (-125)
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