Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Betting Preview

Kristopher Nichols
March 31, 2018

A small grease fire in the upper deck of Tropicana Field on Thursday caused a smoky haze to fall over the playing field five hours before the first pitch of the regular-season opener between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. Eduardo Nunez led Boston by going 2 for 4 with a home run, a double and two RBIs, while Rafael Devers added a double and a pair of RBIs of his own to round out the scoring for the BoSox in the loss.

The Red Sox have gone 0-1 SU this year and are - against the spread (ATS). What is Plan B?

There might be a little hesitation among Sox fans to embrace JD Martinez given the long and drawn-out flirtation with the club in free agency this past winter. I've really had both ends of the spectrum.

But with all the attention being paid to the offense, no one talked much about the pitching.

"That conversation started early in spring and we haven't re-visited the topic because of everything he went through", said Cora.

As of last night, the Rays hadn't announced today's starting pitcher. And all kinds of question marks. Depending on who you talk to, Sale will or will not win the Cy Young Award, but it's clear he's an ace. His clean bill of physical health and positive mental approach have been constants, and they translated to a brilliant first start of the season on Friday.

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Sale will make his first opening day start for the Red Sox after facing just four batters in his final spring training appearance, exiting last Saturday after being hit in the left hip by a line drive off the bat of Houston's J.D. Davis.

Will the real Rick Porcello please stand up?

So as Cora said, pitchers might be more aggressive to the one and two and three hitters if Martinez is batting fourth, or the one and two hitters if Martinez is batting third.

Pomeranz (forearm tightness) shouldn't be gone too long.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said on WEEI that reliever Tyler Thornburg, recovering from surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, should be back in about a month. "We take this one off the chin, go back and get some sleep and come back (Friday) ready to go". In 19 starts versus the Red Sox, he's 2-12. Drew Pomeranz isn't going to start in the rotation.

Archer's 34 starts last season tied Baltimore's Kevin Gausman for the Major League Baseball lead. He pitched a league-high 230 innings and won 17 games in an up and down first season in Boston. He's thrown 190 to 200-plus innings for three years. "But I was running so I couldn't", Span said. "You know what you're going to get (in Boston)". "You are saying that they're not where I want them to be, but I think you're saying they're not where you want them to be". That's what I've got to do.

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