The Boston Red Sox are having trouble shaking off their demons from last season, and they’ll get no help from the Tampa Bay Rays this Friday when they meet to open Fenway Park. The Rays have started strong and hope to build upon last season in which they won 12 of 18 against the Sox. After helping the Tigers and Blue Jays with their home openers over the last week, the Red Sox will welcome fans back to Fenway for the 100th season of baseball at Fenway Park. Can David Price keep his team in the win column against Josh Beckett?
David Price (1-0, 2.84) did enough to get the victory in an 8-6 win at home over the New York Yankees, although he should probably thank his offense. Price allowed two runs on five hits over 6.1 innings of work, but he struck out five and walked four. That is what you can get from the Rays’ ace a mix of walks and K’s and though he has scaled back the walks in recent years and that’ll be a major factor at sportsbooks like 5Dimes when he is on the mound. Price has fared pretty well at Fenway, to say the least, with a 3-0 record in four career starts there and a 1.75 ERA. Overall, he is 6-3 in 10 starts against the Red Sox with a 3.16 ERA, and players that use bookie software know that’ll be a key to the Rays’ success in 2012.
For the fifth time in his career, Josh Beckett will get the call to open up the home portion of the Red Sox schedule. Beckett (0-1, 13.50) will want to put his opener behind him as he was taken deep five times in a 10-0 loss in Detroit, allowing seven runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings of work. Beckett struck out three and walked one, but it appears as though the 2011 hangover is carrying over to 2012 and he’ll have to get it together soon as the media was already calling for his head, especially after Beckett’s part in an epic September collapse last season. At least he has a good record against the Rays as Beckett is 9-4 in 19 starts with a 2.94 ERA when facing Tampa Bay, and he was 6-2 in 14 starts at Fenway in 2011 with a 2.71 ERA.
The Red Sox should be the MLB betting favorites at home in this contest, but they have lost seven of their last 10 against the Rays at Fenway Park and Tampa Bay would love nothing more than to pile on the Red Sox, who are taking heat already and if you remember, they were 0-6 by the time they got to Fenway last year. Beckett will put his last start behind him and come up big to get the Red Sox’s weekend off to a solid start after they dropped two of three in Toronto, so look for some value in the Red Sox at your sportsbook this weekend.
Odds for the Red Sox/Rays matchups will be available at sportsbooks worldwide on Thursday night. Tampa Bay has 15/1 odds to win the World Series this season at Bovada, while Boston’s MLB futures are currently set at 12/1.