The MLB betting action goes on with an eight-game Thursday card, including the opener of a five-game AL East series at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, so we bring you the best Rays vs. Blue Jays betting pick along with the latest odds update on Bovada Sportsbook.
Tampa Bay meets Toronto for the first time since mid-May when the Rays beat the Jays 2-1 in a three-game series at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. The Rays have won 12 of their previous 19 encounters with the Blue Jays.
The Rays’ iffy form continues
The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a 5-3 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday afternoon. They dropped a two-game interleague series, as the Rays suffered a 5-3 loss to the Brewers this past Tuesday, too.
Tampa Bay fell to 40-34 on the season. The Rays have won only five of their previous 16 games overall, so they were sitting at the fourth spot in the AL East on Wednesday night while holding the bottom wild card in the American League.
Jeffrey Springs will get the starting call Thursday and meet the Blue Jays for the second time this season. Back on May 15, Springs tossed 4.2 shutout innings in a 3-0 victory against Toronto, allowing four hits and striking out two. The 29-year-old left-hander is 3-2 with a sharp 2.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in ten starts and eight relief appearances (60 innings) in 2022.
The Blue Jays continue their eight-game homestand
Wednesday night’s games have been excluded from the analysis, and the 42-32 Toronto Blue Jays were looking to sweep a three-game home set against the Boston Red Sox. After a 7-2 victory in Monday’s opener, the Blue Jays outlasted the Sawx 6-5 in the middle game this past Tuesday.
The Jays have gone just 6-7 in their previous 13 games overall. Their pitching staff has compiled an awful 6.04 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, and .297 opposing batting average in that span, while Toronto’s offense has scored 73 runs on a solid .255/.318/.459 triple-slash.
Yusei Kikuchi will take the hill Thursday, and the 31-year-old left-hander has been a disaster in his first season with the Blue Jays. Kikuchi is 2-4 with a pedestrian 5.08 ERA, 5.85 FIP, and 1.58 WHIP in 14 starts (56.2 innings) in 2022. He’s 0-3 with a horrible 9.39 ERA and 10.64 FIP through five starts in June.
- 6-11 in the last 17 games overall
- 1-5 in the last six games on the road
- 14-8 in the last 22 games at home
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
I’m expecting the Blue Jays’ offense to make the difference. Toronto’s lineup is full of dangerous right-handed batters and holds a 122 OPS+ against the left-handed pitchers in 2022. The current Blue Jays have a .886 OPS in 49 at-bats against Jeffrey Springs. They’ll have to perform at a high level because Yusei Kikuchi seems helpless on the mound.
Pitching has been a huge problem for the Blue Jays all season. It’s a different story on the other side, as Tampa Bay has struggled mightily at the plate. The Rays have slashed only .240/.305/.363 in their last 13 games overall. They own the seventh-lowest scoring offense in the majors, averaging 4.04 runs per game.
Pick: Take Toronto Blue Jays
We should see a high-scoring affair at the start of a five-game series between Tampa Bay and Toronto. Jeffrey Springs will have a mountain to climb against the Jays’ lineup, while the Rays have a terrific chance to get things going at the dish. Yusei Kikuchi has allowed 19 runs across 15.1 innings of work in June, and the current Rays own a .780 OPS in 28 at-bats against him.
I’m going with the over even though the under is 10-2-2 in the previous 14 meetings between the Rays and Blue Jays.
Pick: Go over