MLB Odds: Rays vs. Blue Jays prediction, odds and pick – 9/15/2022
The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays will finish their epic five-game series at the Rogers Centre on Thursday afternoon. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes a Rays-Blue Jays prediction and pick, laid out below.
Tampa Bay has lost two in a row in this series, falling to 79-63, seven and a half games behind the Yankees for the AL East. Tampa Bay is also a game and a half behind Toronto for second place in the AL East and is clinging to the final AL Wild Card spot by four games.
Toronto has set itself up well in this series, taking three of the first four games to widen the gap between the two teams. Toronto has improved to 81-62, second place in the AL East and six games behind the Yankees for first place. With less than twenty games to play, Toronto is holding on to the first spot in the AL Wild Card race.
Here are the Rays-Blue Jays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Rays-Blue Jays Odds
Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-196)
Toronto Blue Jays: -1.5 (+162)
Over: 7 (-110)
Under: 7 (-110)
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
Tampa Bay has long been known for its ability to develop star-level pitching. From David Price to today’s starting pitcher, Shane McClanahan, a good chunk of those successes has been left-handed pitchers. McClanahan has cemented himself as a top-of-the-line rotation option, also entering the Cy Young race. McClanahan has gone 11-5 with a 2.20 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 147.1 innings across 24 starts. The changeup and curveball are the headliners in McClanahan’s arsenal, as the two have combined to hold batters below a .150 batting average. Of McClanahan’s 182 strikeouts, 112 have come on those two pitches. Overall, batters have managed a .185 batting average against McClanahan.
Tampa Bay’s stellar bullpen has been highlighted by part-time closer Jason Adam. Adam, one of a few relievers used in a closer-like role, has pitched to a 1.54 ERA with eight saves and 71 strikeouts in 58.1 innings. Adam has displayed the best command of his career, walking just 6.5 percent of the batters he has faced, his lowest rate by over four percent. Batters are hitting under .200 against all of Adam’s pitches.
Randy Arozarena leads the offense with 19 home runs, 78 RBI, 36 doubles, and 30 stolen bases. Arozarena is another feather in the cap for the Tampa Bay player development department, plucked from St. Louis for a package headlined by Matthew Liberatore, who has an ERA above 5 in his rookie season. Yandy Diaz, who leads the team with a .295 batting average and a .404 on-base percentage, was acquired from Cleveland in a three-team deal involving a couple of aging veterans. Diaz and Arozarena are just two on a long list of similar success stories in Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay ranks fifth in the league with 259 doubles.
Why The Blue Jays Could Cover The Spread
Kevin Gausman will look to make it four out of five for Toronto in this one. Gausman has been a revelation in his first season with the club, going 12-9 with a 3.31 ERA in 27 starts, striking out 179 in 152.1 innings. Gausman’s control is the story of his season, as he has walked just 29 batters, good for a 3.8 percent clip, which ranks in the 98th percentile in the league. The trapdoor splitter deployed by Gausman has baffled hitters, holding them to a .190 batting average and accounting for 112 strikeouts.
Toronto has a strong bullpen, headlined by a few veteran pitchers. David Phelps, Yimi Garcia, and Tim Mayza all have ERAs below 3.00 while appearing in at least 50 games. Sidearmer Adam Cimber leads the team with 67 appearances, throwing to a 3.10 ERA with a 10-5 record. Closer Jordan Romano continues to build on a successful career, with a 1.94 ERA and 33 saves in 55 appearances, striking out 64 in 55.2 innings.
Vlad Guerrero, Jr. is the headline of the offense, leading the team with 28 home runs and a .485 slugging percentage. Guerrero, Jr. is second on the team with 33 doubles and 84 RBI. Also impressive, Guerrero, Jr. has only struck out 16 percent of the time, six percent below the MLB average. Bo Bichette leads the team with 40 doubles and 88 RBI, ranking second with 24 home runs. Matt Chapman, acquired in the offseason, is tied for second on the team with 24 home runs, adding 26 doubles and his usual stellar defense. Alejandro Kirk leads the team with a .295 batting average, hitting 13 home runs and 19 doubles while walking more than he has struck out. Toronto leads the league with a .262 batting average and ranks ninth with 172 home runs.
Final Rays-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick
What a pitching matchup we are getting in this one.
Final Rays-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick: Tampa Bay +1.5 (-196), under 7 (-110)