MLB odds: Blue Jays vs. Rays prediction, odds and pick – 8/2/2022
Two familiar foes in the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay rays will meet for the first of a short two-game series that has major playoff implications on Tuesday. Join us for our MLB odds series, where our Blue Jays-Rays prediction and pick will be revealed for all to see.
Entering today’s matchup, the Blue Jays are fresh off of winning three out of four games at home against the Detroit Tigers. Toronto is also 7-2 since the All-Star break which has bolstered them to a three-game lead over Tampa Bay for the second-place spot in the AL East standings. Getting the starting nod in this one for the Rays is the righty Kevin Gausman, who is 7-8 with a 3.30 ERA.
As for the Rays, winning these next couple of games against Toronto would do wonders for their playoff resume. In fact, the Rays are in the midst of a slight losing stretch that has seen themselves fall short in seven of their previous nine games overall. Regardless, Tampa Bay will send out right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen with his 6-3 record and 3.17 ERA in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
Here are the Blue Jays-Rays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Blue Jays-Rays Odds
Toronto Blue Jays: -1.5 (+134)
Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-162)
Over: 7 (-128)
Under: 7 (+104)
Why The Blue Jays Could Cover The Spread
Toronto has slugged their way to a 57-45 record out in the American League East and has even gotten some incredible efforts from the pitching mound in the past couple of weeks played. In fact, Blue Jays’ pitching has only surrendered six runs in their last 27 innings and have done a tremendous job in keeping opposing hitters off-balanced. Not to mention, but since new manager John Schneider took the reins of this clubhouse, Toronto has put up an 11-3 record as well.
While Toronto has not been a top pitching squad this season, their numbers suggest that they have certainly improved and are capable for the occasional masterful performance from the rubber. With that being said, Toronto possesses the 14th-best ERA at 3.89 in the major leagues and also are tied for the seventh-most quality starts with 44 total.
Obviously, while the Blue Jays certainly can spin it, it has been the devastating offensive attack that strikes fear into the opposition. One of the best teams in the league in putting up crooked numbers on the scoreboard, Toronto knows how to swing the bats. In their 102 games played this season, the Blue Jays are leading the entire sport with a .265 batting average and even have punished the baseball with the third-best slugging percentage at .438. Simply put, if the Blue Jays can get after Rasmussen and make him work harder than he needs to, Toronto could be on the fast track of guaranteeing themselves with a spread-covering victory in no time.
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
The Blue Jays may be soaring into the month of August at full steam ahead, but it appears the Rays are on the opposite side of that equation at the moment. Indeed, it wasn’t that long ago that Tampa Bay sat at 51-41 on the campaign before the All-Star Break only to see themselves falter after the midseason lull came and gone. Now entering August, the desperation to win ballgames has only become greater, as continuing down on this lackluster path may cause Tampa Bay to fall short of their postseason dreams.
Despite this, the Rays can only really take it one game at a time and that’s exactly what they’ll do for this divisional matchup against Toronto this evening. For starters, the Rays will be serving as the home team in this contest, and at Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay has looked the part with a 32-20 record in front of their fans. Compare that to Toronto’s underwhelming 23-24 mark out on the road and all of a sudden the Rays already have an advantage ahead of first pitch.
Another factor that will come into play in order to cover the spread will be the key addition of outfielder David Peralta, who the Rays acquired prior to the deadline to help out the lineup when push comes to shove.
Ranking 22nd in total runs scored, this game will fall upon the pitching prowess of the Rays. No doubt, this has been their bread and butter all season long. Can Rasmussen take care of business in such a vital matchup like this one? His last two starts resulting in nine innings tossed combined suggests he can, as he has only surrendered three runs over that stretch.
Final Blue Jays-Rays Prediction & Pick
This showdown on the diamond between two teams that aren’t necessarily fond of each other will be a treat to watch. Even with the Blue Jays being the hotter team at the moment, overcoming the Rays in Tampa is no easy task. When the dust settles, it will be the Rays who come through.
Final Blue Jays-Rays Prediction & Pick: Rays +1.5 (-162)