MLB: Rays v Blue Jays Series Betting Preview 

Posted by Derrick Harper on August 20, 2020 in

After playing a doubleheader in Buffalo, the Toronto Blue Jays will head to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, to take on the Tampa Bay Rays in an American League East matchup. Coming into Wednesday night’s action, Tampa Bay is 15-9 and in second place in the AL East. The 4th place Blue Jays are 5 games behind the division-leading Yankees. Let’s take a look at this upcoming series so you can make your bets against their MLB odds.

MLB Betting: Rays v Blue Jays Series Preview

In the opener, Tampa Bay will send Ryan Yarbrough to the mound. Yarbrough is 0-2 on the season with a 4.13 ERA in 5 starts. His last time out, he threw against Toronto. He didn’t give up a run in his 3 innings pitched.

Toronto will counter with Matt Shoemaker. The former Angel, who has battled injuries throughout his career, is 0-1 on the season. In his last start, which was against Tampa Bay, prior to his ejection, Shoemaker threw 4 innings, giving up 3 runs and striking out 7. 

The middle game of the series will see some changes, as Yonny Chirinos was slated to start for the Rays, but was placed on the IL prior to Wednesday’s game. Tampa Bay could bring in a new starter, or go with an “opener”. The Rays probably won’t make a decision until Friday or Saturday.

Toronto will throw their big free agent signee, Hyun Jin Ryu. Ryu is 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA. He has struck out 27 batters in 26 innings. He allowed one run, striking out three in his last start, a win over Baltimore. Ryu was brought in to anchor the young starting rotation of the Blue Jays.

In Sunday’s series finale, Tampa Bay is slated to send Blake Snell to the mound. Snell is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Snell has struck out 23 hitters in 18 innings pitched. Snell allowed 3 runs in 5 innings pitched in his last start, earning the win over the first place New York Yankees.

Toronto was slated to send their top prospect, Nate Pearson to the bump. Pearson won’t be making his scheduled start, as he has landed himself on the IL with elbow soreness. Toronto has yet to name a replacement starter.

Toronto offense has taken a big blow, as their leadoff hitter, Bo Bichette has found himself on the IL. Bichette was hitting .361. Randall Grichuk has been a star for the Toronto offense, hitting .344 with 6 homers and 15 RBIs. Teoscar Hernandez and Cavan Biggio have also been a big part of Toronto’s offense, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has struggled to start the season.

Tampa Bay’s “no name” offense has once again overachieved. Brandon Lowe has been Tampa’s top offensive player, hitting .337 with 8 homers and 23 RBIs. The rest of Tampa’s offense has been flashy, but it has been steady. With no real superstars in the lineup, Tampa Bay has depended on a balanced offensive attack. 

With Tampa Bay right on the New York Yankees’ heels, every divisional win is huge. With a little more than half the season left, Tampa wants to do everything they can to stay right with New York.

We look for the Rays to take 2 out of 3 from Toronto this weekend.