September baseball has brought out the best and the worst in the Toronto Blue Jays this year, but the arrow is pointing up again as they face the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon.
The Blue Jays have won six of their last seven games after looking dead and buried in the wake of a sweep at the hands of the Rangers, and Chris Bassitt outdueled Tyler Glasnow in Toronto’s 6-2 win last night.
That loss was a blow for the Rays, who are 5-5 in their last 10 games but still on the heels of the Orioles for top spot in the AL East. They didn’t cash in on their eight hits yesterday and saw Randy Arozarena limp off with a quad injury.
Get the lowdown on this matchup with our MLB picks for Blue Jays vs. Rays on September 23.
Blue Jays vs Rays odds
Blue Jays vs Rays predictions
Both of these teams have major stakes heading into the final two weeks of the season, and there are still four meetings on deck after today’s clash. After a slow-burner last night, I expect the offenses to be more ruthless here — it wasn’t as if the bats failed to produce yesterday, but they certainly didn’t maximize their combined 16 hits.
The Over has been in play almost every time these teams have squared off this year, with at least eight total runs in seven of their eight meetings. That’s a trend I like, and I see this afternoon’s battle following a similar script.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ bats have rebounded this week, with six or more runs in three of their past four games, and they entered this series after posting 16 runs in three games at Yankee Stadium. The visitors got multi-hit nights from George Springer and Daulton Varsho in the series opener yesterday and will challenge Tampa Bay Rays starter Zach Littell.
In a relief appearance in May, Littell was chased after recording just a single out against Toronto, and this Blue Jays lineup was boosted by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s return yesterday.
I’m taking a slightly more cautious approach with the adjusted total line of Over 7.5 runs, but I like both teams’ bats to make some noise.
My best bet: Over 7.5 (-135 at SIA)
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Blue Jays vs Rays same-game parlay
I’m taking my Over from above and picking props for Ryu and Matt Chapman to turn it into an SGP. I see Ryu having another solid outing for Toronto and I love the Over on this strikeout total, with the veteran racking up 5+ strikeouts in four of his last six starts.
Meanwhile, Chapman is 3-for-7 against Littell with a double and a dinger, and I’m grabbing the odds for him to have at least one hit today.
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Blue Jays vs Rays moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The formbook points to the surging Blue Jays, but the Rays are pegged as favorites this afternoon, likely in part thanks to a 52-27 home record this year. Tampa Bay is 3-2 against Toronto at Tropicana Field this season.
Still, the regular season series is tied 4-4 overall, and the Blue Jays’ road form has picked up in the second half of the season, with 31 victories in their last 48 games away from Rogers Centre. Their last three road wins have come by a 4-run margin or better.
This battle may have a playoff feel — and it’s a potential AL Wild Card round preview — but I don’t see the pitchers running through these talented batting lineups. I like the Over on 7.5 total runs, which just about cashed in last night despite both teams stranding base runners.
I expect a bounceback effort at the plate for Tampa Bay after scoring just two runs last night. Even if Arozarena’s injury keeps him out, the hosts have gone Over their first-five team total in 45 of their last 78 games at home.
Trend to know
The Rays have served up plenty of high-scoring contests at home this year — and the Over is 47-28 in their last 75 games at Tropicana Field. 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:||Saturday, September 23, 2023|
|First pitch:||4:10 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Sportsnet, Bally Sports Sun|
Hyun Jin Ryu (3-3, 2.62 ERA): Ryu continues to look good on his return from a lengthy injury absence, and he didn’t give up a run in his last start against the Red Sox last weekend. He also has a good record against Yandy Diaz — the Rays’ top hitter — who is 1-for-10 against the Toronto lefty.
Zack Littell (3-6, 4.12 ERA): Littell was shaky in May with an 8.53 ERA, but he’s been steadier since and has produced strong outings against the Twins and Mariners this month. He got through 4 2/3 innings against the Orioles last weekend and allowed just one run.
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