MLB Odds: Red Sox Favored In Series Opener Vs. Rays With Chris Sale Starting

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Chris Sale will look for his 11th win in his last 13 starts Thursday when the Boston Red Sox open a four-game weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays as -164 road favorites on the MLB betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Sale has been dominant since swinging into Cy Young form in early May, surrendering just 11 total earned runs over six straight quality starts going into Thursday night’s Red Sox vs. Rays betting matchup at Tropicana Field.

The 28-year-old threw seven innings of shutout ball in his last outing — Boston’s 7-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays as -159 chalk on July 1 — to improve to 4-1 over his past six road starts. Sale leads the Red Sox’s staff with 11 wins and 166 strikeouts, and his 2.61 ERA is tops among Boston starters. The six-time All-Star also has received plenty of run support, with Red Sox hitters scoring an average of 7.6 runs per game over his past 11 starts.

Sale also has enjoyed recent success against Tampa Bay, going seven innings in each of his past three starts, striking out 31 total batters en route to three winning decisions.

Boston’s current surge comes on the heels of a shaky 4-6 run, during which it scored two or fewer runs on five occasions while failing to record consecutive wins.

However, the Boston bats have roared to life during the club’s current hot streak, in which it has scored seven or more runs on eight occasions since June 20 and cracked double digits twice, including a lopsided 15-1 beating of the Blue Jays as +106 road underdogs on July 2.

The Rays return home as +148 underdogs after going 4-4 on an eight-game road trip, which wrapped up on Wednesday with a 7-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs as a +158 wager.

Tampa Bay’s inconsistency has proven to be the hallmark of its season. The club is a middling 10-10 over its past 20 games but has produced solid results at home, going 12-8 over its past 20, including a pair of outright wins as home chalk over the New York Yankees.

However, the Rays have been dominated by the Red Sox, who have claimed victory in 14 of their last 20 meetings according to the OddsShark MLB Database, including a three-game sweep at Tropicana Field last August while holding Tampa Bay to just seven total runs.

Rookie right-hander Jacob Faria gets the call for Tampa Bay on Thursday. The 23-year-old has compiled a 3-0 record on the season and recorded quality starts in each of his six appearances.

Thumbnail photo via Kevin Sousa/USA TODAY Sports Images

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