by GT Staff | Tampa Rays at Boston Red Sox (-215, 9½): It’s been a dreamlike season for Tampa, dominating at home and getting great seasons out of guys like tonight’s starter, Edwin Jackson (11-9, 4.07 ERA), rookie Evan Longoria, Akinori Iwamura and B.J. Upton. But it gets really real tonight with the start of this three-game series in Boston.
The Not-So-Pale Hose have been perfect this year in Fenway Park against division-leading Tampa, going 6-0 and outscoring the former Devil Rays 45-16 in the process. And after Sunday’s shutout loss to the suddenly red-hot Bluejays, Tampa has now lost four of five games.
Boston is just plain nasty at home, as its 48-19 record reveals. And you can bet the natives will be restless in this series with the taste of first place possibly awaiting them at the end of the week. The BoSox send Jon Lester (13-5, 3.37) to the bump this evening. The righty is 2-0 against TB this season with a 1.46 ERA while the Rays’ Jackson is 2-3 lifetime versus Boston with a 5.70 ERA. The right-hander went a season low 3 1/3 innings in his last start and will have his work cut out for him tonight in this small ballpark that seems to always be a big advantage for the homeboys. RED SOX -215.
PICK 6: PACKERS-BRONCOS-RED SOX-BREWERS-DODGERS-GIANTS