The Tampa Bay Rays take on the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field tonight in the second game of this three-game series. The Red Sox were able to pull out a close win in Game 1, 4-3. The Red Sox jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead after 3 innings but stopped scoring runs after that. This is a very common trend for the Red Sox, they tend to score early then go cold the rest of the game. The Rays were able to crawl back and get within 1 run. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th inning with 1 out, but a strikeout by Brandon Lowe and a great play by Trevor Story on a Wander Franco groundball, ended the game. However, I think the Rays should carry that late game momentum over.
Watching this game last night, it was kind of crazy how the luck was for the Rays. The Red Sox were hitting tons of groundballs that just happened to be getting through the shift. While on the other side, the Rays were hitting balls hard all over the ballpark that kept getting caught. The Red Sox used all their top bullpen arms yesterday and they are still without JD Martinez. They used Hansel Robles, Jake Diekman, Matt Strahm and Matt Barnes. The Rays on the other hand were able to avoid every single one of their top bullpen arms, leaving them ready and rested for the bullpen game today. This is the type of game where the Rays thrive. The Red Sox are also ranked 21st in the league in wOBA against righties while the Rays are ranked 9th in the league.
Garrett Whitlock will be making his first career start after making 50 appearances out of the bullpen, and I think he should pitch fine, but he won’t be able to go too deep in the game. Whitlock was stretched out a bit but there is no chance he can get more than 5 or 6 innings into the game, which is what the Red Sox would need today. The Rays will be going with a bullpen game started by JP Feyereisen. Their bullpen hasn’t been great overall this season ranked just 19th in the league in ERA, but they have been successful in bullpen games. The Rays were 11-8 overall against the Red Sox last season and they were 7-3 at home, I like the Rays in a bullpen game at home.