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MLB : ATS Matchup

TAMPA BAY (60 - 42) at BOSTON (61 - 42)
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Thursday, 7/25/2013 7:10 PM
JEREMY HELLICKSON (R) vs. JOHN LACKEY (R)
Board OpeningLatest
 LineTotalLineTotal
971TAMPA BAY+125Ov 9,-120+115Ov 8.5,-105
972BOSTON-135Un 9,+100-125Un 8.5,-115
ADVANCED TEAM STATS
TAMPA BAY - Current Season Performance
 Team RecordsTeamOpponent
 W-LUnitsO-URunsAvgOBPRunsAvgOBP
All Games60-42+8.247-484.70.2620.3294.00.2350.297
Road Games26-23+2.620-244.70.2580.3224.10.2410.308
vs Right-handed Starters39-31+0.134-314.50.2580.3264.40.2430.301
Past 7 Games6-1+5.21-64.40.2910.3352.60.2040.263
Grass Games22-21+0.418-204.70.2560.3224.10.2440.306
Night Games39-26+6.232-274.80.2750.3404.10.2340.294
Division25-25-4.921-264.60.2640.3274.30.2320.301
TAMPA BAY - Team Hitting and Fielding Statistics
Team BattingTeam BattingTeam Fielding
 RunsAVGOBPGABHEBHR/ABRBIBBSOSBLOBGIDPERRDPOSB
All Games4.70.2620.32910234719103041150.034523457185670787398277
Road Games4.70.2580.322491708441152570.032161623602433641253642
Righty Starters4.50.2580.326702383614206790.032992404963947963295457
TAMPA BAY - Bullpen Pitching Statistics
 ERAWHIPIPRERHHRBBSOW-LSVBSVPct.
All Games3.581.1802941221172292511831515-14271171.1%
Road Games3.851.305133.3605710910651425-813572.2%

BOSTON - Current Season Performance
 Team RecordsTeamOpponent
 W-LUnitsO-URunsAvgOBPRunsAvgOBP
All Games61-42+11.548-515.00.2740.3424.20.2510.320
Home Games34-19+6.223-285.00.2850.3484.20.2440.312
vs Right-handed Starters40-29+5.735-315.20.2790.3464.40.2480.318
Past 7 Games3-4-1.51-63.30.2280.2683.90.2480.307
Grass Games53-38+6.340-474.90.2790.3434.20.2500.318
Night Games42-31+7.538-325.10.2770.3454.30.2530.324
Division26-18+5.416-274.50.2510.3153.60.2410.308
BOSTON - Team Hitting and Fielding Statistics
Team BattingTeam BattingTeam Fielding
 RunsAVGOBPGABHEBHR/ABRBIBBSOSBLOBGIDPERRDPOSB
All Games5.00.2740.34210335689793541040.035003678248077097579379
Home Games5.00.2850.348531783509203500.032581723993537644354650
Righty Starters5.20.2790.346692413674244680.033492455626152566405752
BOSTON - Bullpen Pitching Statistics
 ERAWHIPIPRERHHRBBSOW-LSVBSVPct.
All Games3.961.3713021441332953511931618-13211460%
Home Games4.711.4561478477154196014711-610855.6%
SCHEDULE AND RESULTS
TAMPA BAY - Schedule
 Team StatsOpp Stats
DateTeam StarterOpponentOpp StarterScoreW/LLineTot.O/UHLOBEHLOBE
7/11/2013MOORE(L)MINNESOTAPELFREY(R)4-3W-2258 unU1060440
7/12/2013PRICE(L)HOUSTONCOSART(R)1-2L-3207.5 unU430831
7/13/2013HERNANDEZ(R)HOUSTONKEUCHEL(L)4-3W-2658 ovU850620
7/14/2013ARCHER(R)HOUSTONBEDARD(L)5-0W-2358.5 unU1280531
7/19/2013PRICE(L)@ TORONTOROGERS(R)8-5W-1308.5 unO1490862
7/20/2013HELLICKSON(R)@ TORONTOBUEHRLE(L)4-3W-1059 ovU121016101
7/21/2013ARCHER(R)@ TORONTODICKEY(R)4-3W1159 ovU8718110
7/22/2013MOORE(L)@ BOSTONWORKMAN(R)3-0W-1259 unU880220
7/23/2013HERNANDEZ(R)@ BOSTONLESTER(L)2-6L1309.5 evU7511270
7/24/2013PRICE(L)@ BOSTONDOUBRONT(L)5-1W-1108.5 unU1180531
7/25/2013HELLICKSON(R)@ BOSTONLACKEY(R) 
7/26/2013ARCHER(R)@ NY YANKEESSABATHIA(L) 
7/27/2013MOORE(L)@ NY YANKEESNOVA(R) 
7/28/2013HERNANDEZ(R)@ NY YANKEESHUGHES(R) 
7/30/2013PRICE(L)ARIZONAKENNEDY(R) 
7/31/2013HELLICKSON(R)ARIZONAMILEY(L) 

BOSTON - Schedule
 Team StatsOpp Stats
DateTeam StarterOpponentOpp StarterScoreW/LLineTot.O/UHLOBEHLOBE
7/11/2013DEMPSTER(R)@ SEATTLERAMIREZ(L)8-7W-1358 ovO101021290
7/12/2013LACKEY(R)@ OAKLANDPARKER(R)4-2W1007.5 unU651362
7/13/2013LESTER(L)@ OAKLANDGRIFFIN(R)0-3L1108 unU780861
7/14/2013WORKMAN(R)@ OAKLANDCOLON(R)2-3L1458.5 unU991540
7/19/2013DOUBRONT(L)NY YANKEESPETTITTE(L)4-2W-1709.5 evU851560
7/20/2013LACKEY(R)NY YANKEESKURODA(R)2-5L-1509 ovU7511271
7/21/2013DEMPSTER(R)NY YANKEESSABATHIA(L)8-7W-1408.5 unO1110313121
7/22/2013WORKMAN(R)TAMPA BAYMOORE(L)0-3L+1159 unU220880
7/23/2013LESTER(L)TAMPA BAYHERNANDEZ(R)6-2W-1409.5 evU1270751
7/24/2013DOUBRONT(L)TAMPA BAYPRICE(L)1-5L+1008.5 unU5311180
7/25/2013LACKEY(R)TAMPA BAYHELLICKSON(R) 
7/26/2013DEMPSTER(R)@ BALTIMORETILLMAN(R) 
7/27/2013WORKMAN(R)@ BALTIMOREFELDMAN(R) 
7/28/2013LESTER(L)@ BALTIMOREHAMMEL(R) 
7/30/2013DOUBRONT(L)SEATTLESAUNDERS(L) 
7/31/2013LACKEY(R)SEATTLEIWAKUMA(R) 
8/1/2013 SEATTLE  
KEY GAME INFORMATION
TAMPA BAY: HITTING: OF DESMOND JENNINGS' on-base skills will lead to tons of runs and SBs despite his mediocre batting average. 2B BEN ZOBRIST bounced back from a disappointing 2010, and will continue to produce near the top of the batting order. Though a series of nagging injuries plagued his 2011 season, 3B EVAN LONGORIA slugged 17 HR in his last 53 games. Fully healthy this season, he'll be an elite power-hitter with double-digit SB potential. OF B.J. UPTON's days in Tampa may be numbered. He's an elite athlete, but he just might lose his head if he's traded into a tough situation. After a hot start, OF MATT JOYCE settled in as the productive hitter he is. He should get to play every day in right field. SSs SEAN RODRIGUEZ and REID BRIGNAC will battle for ABs but neither hits on a consistent basis. C JOSE MOLINA was acquired for his defense much more than his hitting. DH LUKE SCOTT can also play some 1B when slugger CARLOS PENA, who is returning to Tampa after hitting 28 homers for the Cubs in 2011, needs a rest.
STARTING PITCHING: DAVID PRICE was a little more hittable than in 2010, but he increased his already-high strikeout rate while cutting back on walks. His win total should rise from a disappointing 12 last year. JAMES SHIELDS put his 2010 disaster season behind him and became a Cy Young candidate. His peripheral stats and skills weren't all that different the past two years, it was a big swing of luck. Some people are putting out the Bust Alert on Rookie of the Year JEREMY HELLICKSON. He had the league's luckiest batting average on balls in play (.217), but he improved as last season progressed. MATT MOORE may be this year's R.O.Y. after a dominant late-season call up. He'll be among the league leaders in strikeouts for years to come. WADE DAVIS is a mediocre pitcher who eats innings at the back of the rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: KYLE FARNSWORTH looked as strong as he has in years, converting 25 of 31 saves in his first season with the Rays. He's the closer again this year, but it won't take much for him to lose that job after an unsteady last third of the 2011 season. JOEL PERALTA may overtake Farnsworth for ninth-inning duties at some point this season. Peralta was 5-for-5 on saves in September when Farnsworth was hurt, and gave up only one run in his final 21.3 innings. Possible future closer JAKE McGEE progressed nicely after a tough start to 2011. He's got potentially lethal stuff. Former Angels hurler FERNANDO RODNEY is looking to bounce back after a wild season (28 walks, 26 strikeouts in 32 IP).
BOSTON: HITTING: OF JACOBY ELLSBURY's 2011 breakout was no fluke. He has real power to complement his elite speed. 2B DUSTIN PEDROIA bounced back from a slow start to finish with career highs in HR and RBI. He benefits from hitting behind Ellsbury. 3B KEVIN YOUKILIS is a huge injury risk. His best seasons are behind him. 1B ADRIAN GONZALEZ wasted no time winning over Boston fans last year, and should hit even more HR in 2012. DH DAVID ORTIZ has put together two straight impressive years after being left for dead in 2009. 2011 Super Bust OF CARL CRAWFORD will bounce back, just not as much as most experts think. Most of the catcher duties will go to C JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA, with C KELLY SHOPPACH getting ABs against lefties. Right field will be filled by former Giants playoff hero CODY ROSS. SS NICK PUNTO replaces Marco Scutaro, who is now in Colorado. 3B MIKE AVILES is a solid hitter with the defensive flexibility to end up with semi-regular ABs.
STARTING PITCHING: JON LESTER seems to have leveled off as a very good pitcher instead of ascending into an elite class. He lost some speed on his pitches and got hit a little harder in 2011. Coming off the best season of his up-and-down career, JOSH BECKETT's numbers are bound to regress a bit in 2012. Back problems limited CLAY BUCHHOLZ last season, and he lost some of the zip on his fastball. He'll tally a low ERA and 15+ wins if he can stay healthy. ALFREDO ACEVES was outstanding out of the bullpen last year, and will compete for a rotation spot this year. He was a starter for years in the Mexican League and the minors. Former setup man DANIEL BARD is being converted to a starter, but he may wind up back in the bullpen later on. After Tommy John surgeries, DAISUKE MATSUZAKA is due to return around July, while JOHN LACKEY won't be back until 2013.
RELIEF PITCHING: ANDREW BAILEY was a acquired from Oakland in December for a heap of prospects. He's one of the best closers in baseball, and may even be an upgrade from departed Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth. Time will tell how he'll handle the increased scrutiny of playing in Boston. Coming over in a trade for infielder Jed Lowrie, MARK MELANCON was excellent as a closer last season in Houston and should be Bailey's main set-up man in the eighth inning. BOBBY JENKS has ninth-inning experience, but he will be out at least two months coming off a pulmonary embolism.
PREVIEW
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TAMPA BAY-BOSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Rays-Red Sox Preview* ======================

By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer

Tampa Bay (59-42) at Boston (61-41), 7:10 p.m. EDT

Superb pitching has the Tampa Bay Rays on the brink of overtaking the Boston Red Sox for the AL East lead.

Giving the ball to Jeremy Hellickson may keep the Rays rolling.

Hellickson looks to match his career-best winning streak Thursday night at Fenway Park and help the Rays move into first place this late in a season for the first time in three years.

After losing 6-2 on Tuesday, Tampa Bay (60-42) pulled within a half-game of Boston (61-42) again as David Price tossed a five-hitter in Wednesday's 5-1 victory.

Since being seven games back on June 28, the Rays have reeled off 19 wins in 22 games behind the pitching staff's 2.17 ERA and five complete games.

"It's just like hitting," Price said. "You hear it all the time - hitting is contagious. So is pitching. We've been on a good groove, It's been fun. We feel like we have five guys that can go out there and win anytime. I don't think there are many teams in the majors that can say that."

It'll be Hellickson (9-3, 4.62 ERA) on the hill as the Rays try to take this four-game set and reclaim the East lead for the first time since they were 5-3 on April 6. Tampa Bay hasn't been atop the division this late in a season since winning it in 2010.

The Rays should feel quite confident handing the ball to the right-hander, who's 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA over his last six starts. He won a career-high six straight decisions over 13 starts bridging 2011 and '12.

His current streak started with a 6-2 win at Boston on June 19, when he allowed two runs in six innings. He's 3-0 with a 3.68 ERA in six career starts at Fenway.

Hellickson enters this one after overcoming an illness Saturday, yielding two runs in five innings of a 4-3 victory at Toronto.

While the pitching has been brilliant during Tampa Bay's surge, rookie Wil Myers has given the offense a big boost. The right fielder has had multiple hits in his last six games and eight of his last nine, driving in a pair Wednesday.

He's 6 for 14 with two doubles and five RBIs over his past four games at Boston.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, have dropped five of eight while averaging 2.9 runs and batting .225.

Dustin Pedroia, who inked a $110 million, eight-year contract extension Wednesday, has been partly responsible for the offense's slump, going 1 for 19 over the past five games.

The All-Star second baseman is 4 for 28 in nine home meetings with Tampa Bay this season, going 0 for 9 in this series. He's also 5 for 28 with a homer versus Hellickson - 0 for 6 this year.

John Lackey (7-7, 2.95) has struggled against the Rays as well, going 0-3 with a 7.78 ERA over his past four starts. The right-hander allowed four runs and 10 hits - two homers - in 5 2-3 innings of a 10-8 win in 14 innings on June 10.

He can't be blamed entirely for losing two of his last three starts, compiling a 3.54 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 20 1-3 innings while the offense failed to give him any support in those defeats.

That was the scenario Saturday, when Lackey allowed four runs while fanning seven in 6 1-3 innings in a 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees.


Last Updated: 10/23/2014 3:06:07 AM EST


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