Drew Smyly (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and the Tampa Bay Rays (8-8) go up against R.A. Dickey (0-1, 3.26 ERA) and the Toronto Blue Jays (9-7) in the first of a three-game division series at Tropicana Field. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 24 and will air on RSN and SunSports.
Smyly has a 0.00 ERA and a 1-0 record in his career against the Blue Jays, but faces a strong Toronto offense that's hitting .262 on the year. In his career against the Rays, Dickey is 6-6 with a 4.07 ERA. He gets a struggling Tampa Bay offense that's batting just .228. Josh Donaldson (.349, 13 Rs, 4 HRs, 13 RBIs) has been doing well, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs.
The odds are even for this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at eight runs. Against teams in the AL East, the Rays have an SU record of 5-7. Division games have been tough for the Rays. Tampa Bay has only averaged 3.2 runs per game compared to its 3.9 season average. The Rays are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 13 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. As for the pitching staff, they have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out at Tropicana Field, leading the AL with 9.2 strikeouts per home game.
Against divisional foes, the Blue Jays are 7-5 SU. They sport the top-ranked offense in the AL, averaging 5.8 runs per game. The Blue Jays are known for their power, smashing a league-leading 22 home runs.
The Rays are 3-1 against the Blue Jays this season. This game will feature Dickey (RHP) on the mound against the Rays, who have a 6-5 record when they take on a right-handed starter.
Predictions: SU Winner - TOR, O/U - Over
The Blue Jays sit at 8-5 against their divisional rivals, while the Rays are 6-7.
Tampa Bay has won 33% (2-4) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Toronto has won all of its games (5-0) when taking a late lead.
The Rays are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded five strikeouts. The Blue Jays have a record of 4-2 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Rays are 1-6. The Blue Jays have a 1-5 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Toronto has hit 22 this season. Tampa Bay ranks 10th with 15 home runs.
Ranking 10th, Tampa Bay is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 7.53 per game. Toronto ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.73.
Ranking 15th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.693). Toronto ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .791.
The Blue Jays are 8-4 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Rays are 2-5 when they allow at least one homer.