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MLB Predictions: Tampa Bay Rays (-115) vs. Boston Red Sox (+110) Over-Under 9.5
After opening the season with a sweep of the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays have lost 4 of their last 5 and are in danger of being swept by the Boston Red Sox today.
It has been a lopsided series thus far with the Red Sox winning the two game by a combine score 25-7. They have accumulated 31 hits over these two games.
Below is the projected starting line up for the Rays. Please keep in mind that this is not official. I am doing this just so you can see some of the names in case you missed the off season acquisitions and departures. BJ Upton is out on the DL.
Desmond Jennings, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist, Luck Scott, Jeff Keppinger, Jose Molina, Sean Rodriguez
The Red Sox are without Jacoby Ellsbury who was placed on the DL with a separated shoulder. Carl Crawford is still on the DL also. Here is their projected line up.
Mike Aviles, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney, Jared Saltalamacchia, Darnell McDonald
Matt Moore, not the quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, but instead the pitcher for the Tampa Bay Marlins, takes the mound for them today in his 2nd start of the season.
Although Moore is rather inexperienced he has had a good start to his young career. The 6’2 southpaw in 4 career starts has a 1-0 record with a 2.81 ERA. That’s impressive. However, his first start of 2012 wasn’t perfect. He really struggled with control. He walked 5 batters, which in turn elevated his pitch count. He threw 104 pitches in 6.2 innings of work. This could
Besides the added extra base runners that could result in more runs.
Even with that last game where he didn’t have great control, Matt Moore has great potential. His strike out to walk ratio is 19-8. He is a big strike out guy and that goes a long way in tough situations, and I expect his ability to get strike outs could be the difference.
Felix Doubront will always be making his 5th career start, but Doubront has more experience than his counterpart because of his time as a relief pitcher. Still, its about the same. What is most telling to me is Doubront’s inability to strike out or finish hitters. In his first start and appearance of the 2012 MLB Season, Doubront was ahead 0-2 or 1-2 in 14 of his 22 batters, yet two of his 3 walks came from the hitters he was ahead. Not to mention 2 of the 4 hits he allowed came from hitters he was ahead in the count.
Doubront doesn’t have the nasty factor to fool guys. Hitters were taking their time to see his pitches and then doing their damage. His 35 career strike outs isn’t bad compared to his 21 career walks. But it doesn’t compare to Moore’s 19ks in just 16 innings of work.
I like the Rays to back their young and talented left hand pitcher and give him his first victory of the season, allowing his Rays to avoid the sweep.
Pick: Rays -115