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MLB Odds: Rays vs. Blue Jays prediction, odds and pick – 6/30/2022

Rays Blue Jays prediction

The Tampa Bay Rays will take on the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Rays-Blue Jays prediction and pick.

 

Both of these teams desperately need to continue their winning ways. The Rays are currently 40-34, a respectable record that has them short of first place in the AL East by a whopping 15 games. The Blue Jays are in the same boat with a 42-33 record and a 13.5 game deficit in the division. If either team wants any hope of catching the New York Yankees, they need to keep on winning. Every single game holds meaning, especially matchups with divisional rivals. With so much at stake, this should be an entertaining game, so let’s get into the pick.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Rays-Blue Jays MLB odds.

MLB Odds: Rays-Blue Jays Odds

Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-178)

Toronto Blue Jays: -1.5 (+146)

Over: 9.5 (-118)

Under: 9.5 (-104)

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Why The Rays Could Cover the Spread

The Rays will have one of their more reliable arms on the mound for this game. Matthew Wisler has been a pleasant surprise for Tampa Bay, earning a 2.83 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP on the season. However, Wisler really plays the role of an opener, meaning that the Rays bullpen will be tasked with handling the majority of this game. Luckily for Tampa Bay, their relievers have been fantastic. As a bullpen, they’ve earned a 3.18 ERA, the fifth-best number in the MLB. They also own a 1.15 WHIP, which is the sixth-best mark in the league. It’s clear that the Rays bullpen is capable of handling a full game of work, which is exactly what they will do here.

The Blue Jays don’t have the privilege of putting a solid pitcher on the mound here. Yusei Kikuchi has been downright terrible on the season, putting up a 5.08 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Those are some of the worst numbers in the entire MLB, and they get even worse. Kikuchi has been absolutely abysmal over his last seven starts, where his ERA skyrocketed to 7.08 while his WHIP jumped to 1.99. Kikuchi is clearly a terrible starter, and the Rays should take advantage of that.

Why The Blue Jays Could Cover the Spread

The Blue Jays will come into this game on a bit of an offensive hot streak. In their most recent series, a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox, Toronto scored five or more runs in every single game. They also managed to win the series against the Red Sox, giving them a fair amount of momentum as they get ready for this series. Meanwhile, the Rays have lost seven of their last nine games against opponents that have a winning record. This seems like a pretty nice matchup for the Blue Jays.

Home-field advantage makes this matchup even nicer for Toronto. Kikuchi hasn’t been as terrible at home as he has been on the road, as he only allows opposing hitters a .221 batting average while earning a 1.29 WHIP. The Blue Jays are also a far better offensive team when they play on their home turf, as they see a rise in batting average, slugging percentage, OBP, and OPS at home.

Final Rays-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick

The Blue Jays just can’t be trusted when Kikuchi is on the mound. The Rays will cover easily, and there’s a good chance they win this game outright.

Final Rays-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick: Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-178)