The Red Sox and Rays will be meeting at Fenway Park to engage in the last series before the MLB All-Star Break. The Red Sox have been spotty for the better part of a month, but have won two straight series against the Anaheim Angels and Texas Rangers. The Red Sox are currently in third place in the AL East, but are only three games behind the Baltimore Orioles.
Conversely, the Tampa Bay Rays are sitting in the basement of the American League East and 15.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles with a 34-51 record. When these two teams last met, the Rays were able to win the series and rough up Red Sox ace, David Price. However, it looks as if the Red Sox are trending in the right direction and this could be a good series for the boys that reside at 4 Yawkey Way.
The Red Sox will be sending spot-starter Sean O'Sullivan to the mound, who has been commuting back and forth from Pawtucket for the better part of the season. O'Sullivan will be making his fourth start of the season, all of which have been at Fenway. While O'Sullivan is not going to blow anyone away, he throws strikes and gives the Red Sox a consistent chance to win. Last time out, O'Sullivan threw five innings of two-run baseball against the Anaheim Angels just 24 hours before the Red Sox were drummed in a 21-2 loss.
The Tampa Bay Rays will be sending their "ace" Chris Archer to the mound to combat against a suddenly recharged Red Sox lineup. In his last start Sunday against the Detroit Tigers, Archer had some of his best stuff of the season, throwing 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball, while striking out 10 batters. Archer has been up-and-down all season, which can be seen in his 4.50 ERA, but he does seem to be trending in the right direction.
However, for some bizarre reason, Archer has struggled against the Red Sox his entire career, and has been especially bad this season. In two starts against the Red Sox this season, Archer is sporting a 0-2 record with a 8.44 ERA. Opponents are hitting .333 off of Archer with a .423 OBP.
Hopefully the Red Sox will be able to continue that trend tonight at Fenway Park. Look below for the probable lineups: