The Toronto Blue Jays continue their hunt for a playoff spot tonight when they begin a three-game set against their AL East foes, the Tampa Bay Rays, as underdogs in the MLB odds.
Toronto will likely be without one of its top sluggers in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but can the Jays still get to Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow, who had his worst game of the season last time out?
We’ll discuss that and more in our free MLB picks and predictions for Blue Jays vs Rays on Friday, September 22.
Blue Jays vs Rays odds
Blue Jays vs Rays predictions
The Blue Jays came up just short of claiming their second straight sweep on Thursday night as they fell 5-3 to the Yankees thanks to an outstanding eight-inning performance from New York ace Gerrit Cole.
Perhaps worse than the loss, though, was yesterday’s news that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is day-to-day with a knee injury. The first baseman did go up to bat once as a pinch hitter and racked up an RBI, but with just nine games remaining in the Jays’ schedule, his absence could be a huge hit to their playoff chances.
Fortunately for the visitors, they should be facing a much easier assignment tonight in Tyler Glasnow, who has been playing some of his worst baseball of the season. The right-hander allowed a season-worst six earned runs over just four innings to the Orioles on September 16, and has given up 10 runs over his last two outings as well as three or more earned runs in four of his last six starts.
The Rays, who still have a shot at the AL East title as they sit only 1.5 games back of Baltimore, will look to put up some runs of their own as they own the fourth-best offense in the majors (5.25 runs per game). Blue Jays starter Chris Bassitt hasn’t been great either, allowing three or more runs in four of his last seven games.
All of those signs point to a high-scoring battle between these two clubs at Tropicana Field tonight, which is why I’m taking the Over.
My best bet: Over 7.5 (-108 at SIA)
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Blue Jays vs Rays same-game parlay
The total on DraftKings has shifted up to 8.5 runs for our same-game parlay but that shouldn’t be a problem at all for these teams to clear, as the Over has cashed in five straight meetings.
Next up, we’ll look for Glasnow to continue throwing heat by cashing the Over on eight strikeouts. He had just four Ks in a disastrous four-inning start last time out, but Glasnow had 22 strikeouts over his two prior contests. Averaging about 1.33 strikeouts per inning this season, he should record at least eight punchouts if he pitches into the sixth tonight.
Lastly, we’ll look for Yandy Diaz to continue his hot streak at the plate for Tampa Bay with another multi-base performance. The first baseman comes into the contest with multiple bases in three straight outings and four of his last five games, while his 37 total bases in September lead the club.
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Blue Jays vs Rays moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Rays come into this one as the home favorite at -148 on the moneyline and despite Glasnow’s recent struggles, I still like the hosts to pull out the win.
Toronto’s offense has been mediocre at best over the last 15 days, scoring just 50 runs in 13 games – the seventh-worst mark in the majors over that stretch. Guerrero Jr. leads the club with 12 RBI in September and likely won’t give the Jays more than one at-bat tonight, so they could struggle to keep up with the Rays’ offense.
Tonight’s total opened at 7.5 runs, and I like the Over considering how both starters have been pitching. Glasnow has a 5.48 ERA over four starts in September, and while Bassitt’s 3.54 ERA this month looks better on paper, he’s just two starts removed from allowing nine hits and five earned runs to the Rangers.
The clubs have also combined for at least nine runs in five straight meetings and eight-plus runs in eight of their last 10.
Trend to know
The Over is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Tampa Bay. Find more MLB betting trends for Blue Jays vs. Rays
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Blue Jays vs Rays game info
|Location:||Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL|
|Date:||Friday, September 22, 2023|
|First pitch:||6:40 p.m. ET|
Chris Bassitt (14-8, 3.78 ERA): Bassitt has been up-and-down for Toronto of late, allowing four or more earned runs in three of his last seven outings, but holding opponents to two earned runs or less in the other four games over that span. He faced Tampa Bay once this year back on May 22, allowing six runs (two earned) and three home runs over 6 1/3 innings in a loss.
Tyler Glasnow (9-6, 3.53 ERA): Glasnow is coming off two of his worst starts of the season, allowing a combined 14 hits and 10 earned runs in those contests. The right-hander had only allowed four-plus earned runs in two of his 17 starts prior to this stretch.
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