Toronto Blue Jays (56-54) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (57-52) MLB Betting Lines from BetOnline

Moneyline: Rays (-120) Blue Jays (+110)

Over/Under: 8.5

Starting Pitchers: Blue Jays (Cecil) vs. Rays (Davis)

The Tampa Bay Rays topped the American League East last year, but they won’t be able to repeat this year. Earlier in the year the Rays stayed close to the Red Sox and Yankees, but they have now fallen to 11 games back. The Toronto Blue Jays are a team that is better than most people realize. Toronto would be in the divisional races if they were in some other easier divisions, but in this tough division they sit in fourth place. Which team will win the deciding third game of this series?

Brett Cecil will be on the mound for the Blue Jays Thursday afternoon. Cecil has been inconsistent this year, but he has a solid 2.91 ERA on the road. In his last three starts, Cecil has an ERA of 2.35. Jose Bautista is proving that last year was no fluke by putting up some big numbers again this season. Bautista has piled up 32 home runs, and he also leads the team with a .322 average. The Jays strengthened their lineup by picking up Colby Rasmus at the trade deadline. If Toronto can get some more pitching depth they could be a contending team in the next few years.

The Rays lost quite a bit of talent from last year’s team, and some of their stars just aren’t performing as well as they are expected to perform. Wade Davis has had a rough season, and he’ll look to quiet the Blue Jays bats on Thursday. Davis has a 4.62 ERA for the year, and he has a 7.16 ERA in his last three starts. Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton are batting .226 and .225 on the year. These are two guys that the Rays were counting on in a big way this year, and they just haven’t been up to par. Tampa Bay is just 25-26 at home this year.

Both of these pitchers are extremely inconsistent, and they are capable of giving up a big inning at any point. The number is set pretty low here, and I think the value is with the over.

MLB Free Pick: Blue Jays/Rays over 8.5