The Boston Red Sox will face the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the ALDS the night after the Rays pitched a combined shutout. The Rays took the first game of the series by a score of 5-0 behind five shutout innings from rookie Shane McClanahan and some heroics by outfielder Randy Arozarena that included a steal of home.
Boston will look to even the series after having their bats silenced by McClanahan in Game 1. The Rays will send another rookie to the hill in the form of right-hander Shane Baz. Baz was outstanding in his brief stint in the majors, posting a 2.03 ERA, albeit in a small sample size of 13 1/3 innings.
The Red Sox will counter with veteran ace Chris Sale, who spent most of the 2021 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Sale threw just 42 2/3 innings after rejoining the big league club in August, but the key was that he looked like the vintage Chris Sale we have come to expect.
Both of these teams are quite evenly matched and the Sox have their ace on the bump. Expect some fireworks in this one. Will Boston even the series or will Tampa Bay take a commanding 2-0 lead? Let’s take a look at some Red Sox vs Rays predictions and best bets.
All ALDS Game 2 odds and lines are current as of 5 AM EST on Friday, October 8.
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Red Sox vs Rays Game 2 Predictions
The Red Sox and Rays are a lot closer in terms of true talent than just a ‘division winner’ and a ‘Wild Card team’. Given the nature of the powerhouse AL East, these teams are both very capable of winning this series. The Rays may have the lead now, but with the experienced Chris Sale taking the hill against a man with just 13 1/3 big league innings to his credit, you have to think Boston has an edge in that regard.
Chris Sale faced the Rays twice during the regular season and was a mixed bag overall. In his first start against Tampa Bay, he only lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and somehow five runs with just one earned. The second start went a lot better for the southpaw, though, as he tossed six innings of two-run ball.
A key note with Sale is that he only pitched a full six innings once this season, so a short leash should be expected.
When talking about “short leashes," we have to extend the same courtesy to all Rays starting pitchers. Shane Baz is no exception, especially considering his youth and lack of experience. The Rays are one of the most progressive teams in the sport and typically deploy an aggressive “bullpen-ing" strategy in the postseason.
The Red Sox had their bats silenced in Game 1, but I don’t expect that to continue. Their success is largely predicated on this prediction ringing true.
Red Sox vs Rays Game 2 Pick: Rays 4, Red Sox 2
Red Sox vs Rays Game 2 Best Bets
Best Bet: Rays Moneyline (-140) at BetMGM
Wager: 2 Units
Despite my preference of Chris Sale over Shane Baz, I expect the Rays’ excellent bullpen to play too big of a role for the Red Sox to even the series. The Rays Moneyline is the play here given the limited juice attached. The Red Sox bats going quiet is cause for concern going forward in this series.
Best Bet: Under 7.5 Total Runs (-110) at BetMGM
Wager: 1 Unit
The Under hit in the first game of the series and I expect it to once again. These teams both have very solid pitching staffs and given that we have been discussing the Red Sox and their lack of offense in Game 1, we could be looking at a total of far under 7.5 in Game 2.
Game 1 featured a 5-0 score and while the Red Sox should score at least a run in Game 2, I think it is a safe expectation that the Rays score less against Chris Sale than they did Eduardo Rodriguez.