September 11, 2015 (Posted at 4:00 PM ET)
There are 3 college football plays for Saturday that were released yesterday.
Take Tampa Rays on the Money Line (-154) against Boston Red Sox risking 4.62% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Archer and Miley must start for wager to have action)
This is a matchup that we feel severely favors the Rays. Even though the Red sox have been playing well recently and putting up runs on the board, Tampa is still the team in this contest that has a chance to make the postseason. Currently 5 games back in the Wildcard race, a strong series here could propel them even closer in the running as both the Yankees and Angels are tied up in extremely tough series with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros respectively. The Rays are about to open a lengthy homestand against AL East clubs and still have an outside chance if they do well. These two team have split 12 meetings this season which shows how evenly matched these teams are, however with this game meaning much more to Tampa, that should give them a motivation edge in this contest.
The Rays should also have an advantage on the mound in this contest as they send Chris Archer to the hill tonight. Archer has struggled as of late, but he has still had an impressive season this year. Archer is a strikeout machine, consistently punching out batter at the plate. He has 228 strikeouts on the season and has given up just a total of 61 earned runs this season. At home, he has been even more impressive as he has a 121:22 strikeout to walk ratio, giving up just 28 earned runs over 88 innings of work! After a couple of rough outings, we believe Archer is poised for a quality showing in this contest.
The Red sox will counter with southpaw Wade Miley tonight. This is actually a rematch between Miley and Archer as these two squared off at Tropicana back in April. The Red Sox managed to come away with a 1-0 win despite Miley walking 4 batters while also crediting Archer with the loss, despite his striking out of 9 batters. This appears to be the ideal opportunity for Archer to get his revenge! Even if he doesn't have the best showing, the Rays bullpen is better than the Red Sox and that could be the difference-maker.
Tampa is also a team that has hit left handed pitchers extremely well this season. They are 25-16 against southpaws this season and a few of the Rays bats have had quite a bit of success against Boston. Evan Longoria is currently batting .386 and is in the midst of an 11-game hit streak against the Red Sox. He's also caught fire recently posting a .361 average with five homers in his last 10 overall contests. Asdrubal Cabrera has posted a .480 average in his last six matchups with Boston and is 3 for 6 off Miley in his career. Logan Forsythe and catcher Rene Rivera have also had success against the former Diamondback.
Had Archer not had inconsistent results in his past few starts, we believe this line would be much higher than it is currently set. Archer is the better pitcher in this contest; Tampa also has the better bullpen and is statistically the better defensive team. If they can play error-free baseball tonight, we like Archer to have an impressive performance against a division rival and propel his team to a 1-0 series lead. With the oddsmakers setting the total run in this contest extremely low, this has all the signs of turning into a pitcher's duel and if that is indeed the case, this is a matchup that severely favors Archer.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Boston is 27-38 after a win this season.
- Tampa is 25-16 against left-handed starters this season!
- Red Sox are just 23-33 against division opponents.
- Wade Miley is 8-20 in road games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 3 seasons.
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