Red Sox Series Preview: Boston at Tampa Bay (4/21-4/23)

After splitting the series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox head to Tampa Bay to face off against the Rays for the first time this season. The Sox currently stand in first place in the East with a record of 8-5, while the Rays are tied for third at 6-7.

Probable Pitchers

Game 1, April 21: Wade Miley (0-1, 10.57 ERA) vs Chris Archer (2-1, 1.37 ERA)
Game 2, April 22: Joe Kelly (1-0, 2.13 ERA) vs Nathan Karns (1-1, 4.58 ERA)
Game 3, April 23: Clay Buchholz (1-2, 6.86 ERA) vs Jake Odorizzi (2-1, 1.4 ERA)

Red Sox Probable Lineup

Mookie Betts, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Shane Victorino, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Ryan Hanigan, C

Red Sox Injuries

Edwin Escobar, 15-day DL (elbow)
Brandon Workman, 15-day DL (arm)
Christian Vazquez, out for season (Tommy John)

Rays Injuries

Alex Cobb, 15-day DL (forearm tendinitis)
John Jaso, 15-day DL (wrist)
James Loney, 15-day DL (oblique strain)
Jake McGee, 15-day DL (elbow)
Matt Moore, 60-day DL (Tommy John)
Drew Smyly, 15-day DL (shoulder strain)

Who’s Hot

Super utility-man Brock Holt continues to give manager John Farrell reasons to keep him in the lineup. Holt could be a starter for many other teams but the Red Sox have the luxury of being able to use him in seven of the nine positions. In eight games played, Holt has a slash line of .462/.489/.538 and an OBP of 1.020.

One of the Red Sox most reliable relievers, Junichi Tazawa, continues to be just that in 2015. Tazawa has pitched six scoreless innings in six games for the Sox, while only giving up three hits.

Who’s Not

Wade Miley, who will be starting off the series for the Red Sox, was shelled in his last start against the Washington Nationals. He only pitched 2 1/3 innings while giving up seven runs. Look for Miley to bounce back tonight though, as he owns a 2-0 record and a 0.68 ERA against the Rays in his career.

Predictions

The Red Sox have yet to lose a series and that’s all they can really ask for this early in the season. These wins will be that much more important in September for potential playoff races. With that being said, the Rays have played much better than many thought they would coming into this season. Expect the Red Sox to at least take two games.

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