Marco Estrada (7-4, 2.92 ERA) and Drew Smyly (3-11, 5.14 ERA) start in the second of a three-game series between the Toronto Blue Jays (64-49) and the Tampa Bay Rays (45-66) at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays won the last game 7-5, and Toronto leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:07 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 9 and can be seen on RSN and SUN.
Estrada pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering one run and striking out seven in a 3-1 win over the Astros. Edwin Encarnacion (.265, 69 Rs, 31 HRs, 94 RBIs, 2 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 3 for 5 with one run, one home run, and three RBIs. Smyly went 7.0 innings, surrendering two runs, striking out 10 and walking one in a 3-2 win over the Royals in his last outing. Brad Miller (.260, 51 Rs, 20 HRs, 48 RBIs, 6 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Rays, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run and two RBIs.
Toronto is a -165 favorite against Tampa Bay and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at nine runs. The Blue Jays have recorded an overall money line of +100 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 52-33. Toronto has had an impressive season against division opponents, earning 19-11 and 26-20 records as the favorite and SU, respectively. The Blue Jays have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 3.5 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.8 runs per game. The Blue Jays are one of the best in the MLB in terms of extra base hits with 372. Toronto leads the whole AL in walks, earning an average of 3.8 per game. Opposing batters know they're in for a battle when they play Toronto. The Blue Jays are one of the top teams when it comes to pitching, allowing just 4.1 runs per game. The Blue Jays are the fourth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.208 so far this season.
As for their opponent, Tampa Bay is coming in with an overall money line of -2,827 and a disappointing record of 18-30 as the underdog. They have played poorly as the underdog with a 9-14 record against AL East rivals, and a 5-5 record SU. The Rays have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 8.4 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Rays lead the season series, 6-5. The Blue Jays have a 15-17 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Smyly takes the mound. Estrada (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a 33-52 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TOR, O/U - Over
The Blue Jays hold a 26-20 record this season against teams in the AL East Division. The Rays' record in these matchups is 18-23.
The Blue Jays managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Rays who are coming in with a 24-17 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Rays are 10-49. The Blue Jays have an 8-37 record when opponents outhit them.
Tampa Bay ranks in the top 10 of the league at seventh when it comes to home runs, hitting 145 this season. Toronto ranks in the top five with 160.
Toronto and Tampa Bay both rank in the top half of the league in hits. Toronto sits at 12th with 8.39 hits per game and Tampa Bay ranks 15th with 8.03.
Ranking 18th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.728). Toronto ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .760.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 24-59. When the Blue Jays allow one or more homers, they have a 38-37 record.