Saturday, July 26, 2014 | 9:15 a.m.
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our three sports writers started with a $10,000 bankroll — fictional, of course.
Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays over 7.5 runs (plus-105): $300 to win $315
I had a hard time finding something on today’s baseball board that I liked. I considered fading Detroit’s Justin Verlander or going with one of the three or four aces taking the mound but decided the price was too steep.
So here we are with the Red Sox and Rays, who started their series last night with a 6-4 Rays victory. Tampa Bay has won eight in a row and gone over this total in five of those games. The Rays are starting Jeremy Hellickson, who has missed most of this season with an elbow injury and is making only his second appearance.
The Red Sox, who are in last place in the AL East and three games back of the Rays, are throwing John Lackey. Lackey’s had a solid season overall, boasting a 3.66 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP.
The interesting thing to me is that even when Lackey pitches really well, like last week’s two-hit, one-run performance against Toronto, his games go over. Seven of his past eight starts have hit at least eight runs, with the lone exception a complete-game shutout against Minnesota.
While Lackey is certainly solid, I wouldn’t count on a performance like that in this spot. Add in the complete unknown with Hellickson this year and I figure there could be at least 10 runs this evening at Tropicana Field.
Standings: Bern (40-25-1, $14,934), Keefer (32-36, $9,146), Brewer (27-37-3, $3,555)