Game #132 Lineups and Outlook
Your Tampa Bay Rays pulled one out late yesterday as Evan Longoria went yard to give the team the lead. It wouldn’t have mattered, however, with the laserbeam shot that Luke Maile drove over the monster for a two-run homer that tied it up a little earlier. This all came in support of a fine start by Jake Odorizzi that would have looked even better if the game was not played in a miniature golf course version of a baseball stadium.
The model sees the Red Sox as a little stronger of a play than the gamblers giving them a slight edge, but this could be due to Steven Wright looking like two different guys. Early on he was sensational as an out-of-nowhere knuckler that no one could figure out. Then some shoulder woes set in that led to a stint on the disabled list. He hasn’t been that elite former self since coming back, but he has still mixed in some very good starts to go with the clunkers so he’s even more of a wild card today than your normal knuckleball guy. Smyly sees tough matchups throughout as he’s facing a team with numerous good right-handed hitters in a ballpark that can particularly punish flyball pitchers.
The Red Sox edge in the pen is vast, but a lot of that is driven by how very good their back end can be. Kimbrel threw a bunch of pitches in the ninth yesterday, but I would still expect him to be available, but I doubt the same can be said of Buchholz who has given up a run in each of the games so far with yesterday’s being the game-winning homer to Longo. The Rays will be well-equipped with Duffy, Souza and Maile if the Red Sox are forced to go to their lefties Abad and Ross.