The American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays has turned into a best-of-three. The Red Sox rallied to beat the Rays in Game 2 on Friday at Tropicana Field, knotting the ALDS at one game apiece. The Red Sox gained home-field advantage with the victory, and Games 3 and 4 will be played at Fenway Park. The pivotal Game 3 is set for Sunday afternoon.
You can view the full postseason schedule by clicking here. With that throat-clearing out of the way, let's get to the important stuff for Game 3.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, Oct. 10 | Time: 4:07 p.m. ET
Location: Fenway Park (Boston)
TV: MLB Network | Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: TB +101; BOS -111; O/U: 8.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Starting pitchers: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA) vs. RHP Drew Rasmussen (4-1, 2.84 ERA)
As expected, the Rays will start Rasmussen in Game 3 after not using him out of the bullpen in Games 1 and 2. He came over from the Brewers in the Willy Adames trade earlier this year. Rasmussen started the season in the bullpen before Tampa moved him into the rotation in mid-August. In eight starts, he pitched to a 1.46 ERA with an opponent's .463 OPS, though he never threw more than five innings or 74 pitches. The Rays keep him on a very short leash. It should be noted three of Rasmussen's eight starts came against the Red Sox, so they've seen him plenty the last few weeks.
As for the Red Sox, they're sending Eovaldi to the mound in Game 3. He was brilliant in the Wild Card Game win over the Yankees and he's proven himself to be a big-game pitcher, one with a 1.63 ERA in 27 2/3 career postseason innings. Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale combined to allow seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in Games 1 and 2. The bullpen has been worked hard -- it's unlikely Nick Pivetta (73 pitches in Game 1) and Tanner Houck (61 pitches in Game 2) will be available in Game 3 -- so the Red Sox need Eovaldi to chew up innings and pitch well. A quick hook like the Wild Card Game is unlikely.
If you believe momentum matters in sports, it's all on Boston's side. They outscored Tampa 12-1 following Jordan Luplow's first inning grand slam in Game 2, including banging a franchise postseason record five homers. Of course, the momentum was all on the Rays' side following the Luplow grand slam, which shows you what momentum is worth. Anyway, Eovaldi has been dynamite lately and Boston's bats seemed to wake up in Game 2. Add in the Fenway Park factor and it's advantage Red Sox in Game 3.
Pick: Red Sox 7, Rays 3
2021 MLB postseason gear now available
The 2021 MLB Playoffs start Oct. 5 and 6 with the AL and NL Wild Card games. In celebration, 2021 MLB postseason gear is now available for select teams. Shop hoodies, shirts, and more here.
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