MLB Baseball Predictions: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Thursday, May 17, 2012
by Mike Stewart
The Tampa Bay Rays, who are an American League-best 14-3 at home, go for a two-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. The Rays have won four straight and are tied with the Baltimore Orioles for first in the American League East at 24-14, and also share the best record in the AL with the Texas Rangers.
The Red Sox had their five-game winning streak snapped as they began an eight-game road trip Wednesday and remain last in the AL East, 6½ games behind.
Boston sends its most consistent starter – 24-year-old Venezuelan Felix Doubront – to the mound. He has won two straight decisions and will oppose fellow left-hander Matt Moore for the second time in 2012. Moore has dropped his last two decisions. Doubront was hit in the head by a fly ball in batting practice Tuesday, but walked off the field under his own power and said he was fine.
Doubront allowed one run and three hits in six innings in his last start, a 4-1 victory over Cleveland on Saturday. He allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings in Boston’s 6-4 win over Tampa Bay on April 15. Doubront has allowed three or less earned runs in five of his seven starts. The Rays’ roster is batting .359 against him, with Luke Scott 2-for-4 with two homers while Ben Zobrist is 1-for-6 with three strikeouts.
Moore was the victim of poor defense as the Rays committed five errors while he was on the mound in his last start, a 5-3 loss at Baltimore on Saturday. He allowed one earned run and four hits in 4 1/3 innings, and walked four. Moore has issued seven walks in his last two starts over 8 2/3 innings. Boston roughed up Moore for six runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings April 15.
1. Tampa Bay second baseman Will Rhymes fainted after being hit by a pitch in the arm in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 2-1 victory. Rhymes collapsed in the arms of coach George Hendrick after reaching first base. The Rays medical staff concluded an adrenaline rush led to Rhymes’ passing out. X-rays on his arm were negative.
2. Boston starters have allowed five runs in their last five games, with the bullpen providing 11 scoreless innings during that span. …Left-handers are 1-for-14 against Red Sox lefty reliever Rich Hill.
3. Hill left the field after being struck by a ball during batting practice Wednesday. The team said he is OK.
Recent Trends on Boston:
- BOS are 2-6 in their last 8 games following a loss.
Recent Trends on Tampa Bay:
- TB are 38-14 in their last 52 home games.
- TB are 10-4 in their last 14 Thu. games.
- Over is 5-2-1 in TB last 8 Thu. games.
Head to Head:
- BOS are 4-10 in the last 14 meetings.
- Under is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings in Tampa Bay.
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