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Ray @ Red Sox Preview: Tampa Bays First Real Test


A week ago, right before the All-Star Break, I proclaimed my skepticism of the Tamp Bay Rays.  They are now on a five-game winning streak, which seems I may have been wrong.  However, I predicted this would happen as their first series back was against the Toronto Blue Jays who are last place in the AL East and have a winning percentage of just .464.

I stated a week ago that their true test to determine whether or not they were legit contenders to make a deep playoff run would come in the form of this series with the Boston Red Sox that kicks off tonight.

The Red Sox are coming off a tough back and forth series with the New York Yankees that they would wound up winning.  However, it was not an easy win and going straight into another division game is going to be tough on the Red Sox who could still be exhausted from yesterday’s nail-biting 8-7 victory.

The Rays have always been known for their outstanding pitching and they will be showing it off in this opener by starting All-Star left-hander Matt Moore.

Moore set a Tampa Bay record before the break winning 13 games in a row before the All-Star Game.   However, Moore does have his weaknesses as he has the fifth worst walk rate in the MLB at 4.6 per nine innings.

Boston will be attempting to counter Moore with rookie pitcher Brandon Workman.  Workman looks to be a promising starter for the Red Sox as in his debut he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics.  It will be a loss on his record, however, as he allowed Josh Donaldson to hit a two-run homer that would get him pulled from the game.  The Red Sox would lose 3-2.  Workman will be looking to make up for that loss.


Workman pitches against the Oakland A’s.

The Rays are  3-9 against Boston this season.  The last series that the Rays lost was against the Red Sox in a three-game series back in June.

The Rays are going to have to do a lot more than just win this series opener in order to silence their critics, like myself, who analyze their recent success as being the result of an easy schedule.  They will need to win this four game series to shut me and the others up.

The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET.  The Rays are favored to win over at Bovada with a -127 moneyline compared to the Red Sox moneyline which is set at +117.

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