Rays vs. Red Sox: Early Odds and Preview for ALDS After Wild Card

Rays vs. Red Sox: Early Odds and Preview for ALDS After Wild Card

Boston Red Sox's Alex Verdugo, right, celebrates his two-run single with Kyle Schwarber, left, in the seventh inning of an American League Wild Card playoff baseball game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2src21, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Charles Krupa/Associated Press

After a chaotic conclusion to the American League regular season, the winner-take-all wild card game on Tuesday night between archrivals New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox charted a clear path forward heading into the American League Division Series. It was the first time the rivals had faced one another in the wild card game. 

Despite a hard-fought season by the Yankees that saw them claw their way into the play-in game, the Red Sox will move on to face the cream of the AL, the Tampa Bay Rays, the only team in their league to win 100 games.

After clinching the AL East crown for the second straight year, the Rays charge into the postseason having won seven of their last 10. 

Let’s take a look at the early odds and schedule for this ALDS clash between these division rivals, with action kicking off on Thursday on FS1. 

Rays vs. Red Sox ALDS Odds and Schedule

Series Odds: Rays -150

Game 1 (Rays -1.5): Thursday, Oct. 7; 8:07 p.m. ET (FS1)

Game 2: Friday, Oct. 8; 7:02 p.m. ET (FS1)

Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 10; 4:07 p.m. (mlb Network)

Game 4*: Monday, Oct. 11; TBA (FS1 or mlb Network)

Game 5*: Wednesday, Oct. 13; TBA (FS1 or mlb Network)

*if necessary

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

During the regular season, it seemed the Yankees had no answer for the Red Sox, who took the first seven games of their series. However, New York turned things around late in the season, winning the final two to get hot coming into the wild card game. 

The Yankees were surely pleased as punch they had Gerrit Cole available to start this all-important game. This is, after all, presumably exactly why they paid him $324 million.

But that stroke of good timing quickly turned into a nightmare as the right-hander gave up two home runs and walked two in two-plus innings, forcing Aaron Boone to pull him in the third with the Yankees trailing 3-0. 

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

FINAL: Red Sox 6, Yankees 2

A total domination. Gerrit Cole and the Yankees’ offense didn’t show up. Nathan Eovaldi and the Red Sox’s did.

The Red Sox will face the Rays in the division series. The Yankees will face a long winter with lots of change potentially on the horizon.

Indeed, the Red Sox have tortured Cole this season; in 22 innings over four starts against Boston, Cole has a 4.91 ERA, a 1.500 WHIP and allowed an .852 OPS.

Seven walks is the most the Yankees pitchers have issued in a winner-take-all game, according to the ESPN broadcast. 

With the 6-2 victory, the Red Sox have now won nine of their last 10 playoff games and are as hot as they could be ahead of their series with the Rays. 

With all the focus on Cole heading into this game, Nathan Eovaldi quietly put together one of the most dominant performances of his postseason career. He threw strikes with everything, and the Yankees had no response. After 5 1/3 innings, the right-hander allowed one run on four hits and struck out eight. 

Meanwhile, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts had a tough go of it in the second half of the regular season, but he proved on Tuesday that the postseason is a fresh start. His two-run homer off Cole gave the Red Sox the lead they would never relinquish. 

As for the Rays, they plan to rely on their talent, not necessarily their experience, to dispatch the Red Sox in the ALDS.

On Tuesday, manager Kevin Cash confirmed that rookie left-hander Shane McClanahan will start Game 1. Shane Baz, who made his mlb debut this year, will start Game 2.

According to mlb’s Sarah Langs, the Rays become the second team in postseason history to start rookie pitchers in the first two games of a playoff series. 

Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports

With Shane McClanahan and Shane Baz starting ALDS Games 1 & 2 for the Rays, they will become the 2nd team in postseason history to start rookie pitchers in the 1st 2 games of a PS series, joining the 2012 A’s in the ALDS (Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone)

The Red Sox have not yet announced their a starter for Game 1. 

With their American League-leading 100-62 record, the Rays have home-field advantage throughout the five-game series, which begins Thursday at 8:07 p.m. The Rays are favored by 1.5 in that game. 

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