Red Sox vs. Rays MLB Best Bets for July 11

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Ji-Man Choi #26 of the Tampa Bay Rays scores in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox. Kathryn Riley/Getty Images/AFP

The top Wild Card spot is at stake as the Boston Red Sox head to Tampa Bay to face the Rays in a four-game series between the second and third-place teams in the American League East.

Let’s take a look at the MLB odds for tonight’s matchup.

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Monday, July 11, 2022 – 07:10 PM EDT at Tropicana Field

Red Sox vs. Rays Betting Preview

The Red Sox have pulled into second, a game and a half ahead of Tampa in the division and in the Wild Card standings. Boston is coming off of a four-game split with the first-place Yankees that could have been much worse.

After losing the first two games at Fenway, the Sox rallied with a pair of comeback wins over New York to head to Tampa on a two-game winning streak.

While the Sox avoided disaster with a weekend rally, Tampa didn’t. The Rays were swept by the last-place Cincinnati Reds, including a pair of tenth-inning walk-offs, one of them a walk-off balk. The series helped sour what had been a Tampa hot streak that included three straight over Toronto and taking two of three in Boston last week.

Progress Against the East

Boston came back from the brink as only the Red Sox can. After dropping the first two to the Yankees to extend their losing streak to four, Boston trailed by two runs in the tenth inning of Saturday’s game.

They also trailed 6-2 on Sunday. Both times, the Red Sox found a spark, largely thanks to rookie Jeter Downs, who was called up from Triple-A for the weekend. Downs got key hits as the Sox scored three to walk off in the tenth on Saturday, then scored nine straight on Sunday night.

The split against an AL East rival is progress for a Boston team that still hasn’t won a series against a divisional opponent this year. The Sox improved to 0-8-1 but will try to break through with a series win at Tampa.

Missing Players for the Red Sox

The Sox will have to do it without some key components. One reason Downs was called up to help save Boston this weekend is that Christian Arroyo was sent to the injured list. MVP candidate Rafael Devers is still active, but he missed time over the weekend and may also sit out Monday as he battles back and hamstring problems.

The Red Sox will start rookie right-hander Brayan Bello on Monday. He was rocked by Tampa in his first career start last week, giving up four runs in four innings and allowing nine baserunners.

“He’ll relax and breathe a little bit and maybe, he’ll be better,” manager Alex Cora said. “I think he’s going to be okay.”

Trouble for Tampa?

There was no joy for the Rays in Cincinnati over the weekend as Tampa fumbled away a chance to pad its record against a bad team. Instead, the Rays finished off a 5-6 road trip and will now try to get back on track in the seven-game homestand starting Monday. Of course, the Rays have lost three straight and four of five against winning teams at home.

Adding injury to insult, Tampa also saw some attrition to the lineup over the weekend. Three key players will be missing tonight:

  • Kevin Kiermaier
  • Wander Franco
  • Jeffrey Springs

Additions to the Injury List

Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and shortstop Wander Franco were both sent to the injured list, as was lefty Jeffrey Springs. Franco is expected to be out six-to-eight weeks, while Kiermaier might need hip surgery.

The Rays addressed one area of need, acquiring catcher Christian Bethancourt from Oakland over the weekend.

The Rays haven’t announced their plans for a starting pitcher for Monday’s game, which could mean a bullpen day. That could be a problem for a pitching staff that used five, eight and four pitchers in the three games over the weekend. Matt Wisler, who authored the balk-off loss in relief on Friday, could open things.

The Picks

The Rays are reeling a bit with the upset losses and injuries, but coming home and facing a divisional rival with the stakes raised should help get the team focused. Look for Tampa to continue to give Boston’s rookie starter a hard time with a lot of runs and a win to open the series for our MLB picks.

MLB Pick: Rays ML (-101) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

MLB Pick: Over 7.5 Runs (-125) at BetOnline

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Over 7.5 Runs (-125)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.