The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays collide at Tropicana Field this afternoon for the rubber match of their three-game set, as both teams look to improve their postseason positioning. The visitors come in a game up on the Astros for the second AL Wild Card spot while the hosts sit 1.5 games back of the Orioles for the top spot in the AL East.
As of right now, MLB odds have the Rays labeled as favorites at -120, while the Jays are returning as the underdog at plus money.
Toronto will hope to pounce on Taj Bradley, who comes into the game having allowed at least four earned runs in six of his last 10 outings. Can Toronto’s bats get the best of Tampa's starter? Find out in my MLB picks for the Blue Jays vs. Rays MLB picks for Sunday, September 24.
Blue Jays vs Rays odds
Blue Jays vs Rays predictions
The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays played to another high-scoring battle in their second meeting of the series on Saturday, with the hosts eking out a 7-6 victory led by Josh Lowe, who drove in four runs with a three-run homer, as well as a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
Saturday’s game was the ninth meeting between the two clubs this season and the seventh time that the Over cashed in those contests. Needless to say, Toronto and Tampa Bay always seem to bring the best out of each other offensively and we’re seeing that again in this series. I’m expecting more of the same this afternoon, especially given how both starters are trending.
Taj Bradley settled down in his last start on September 19, holding the Angels to just one run over five innings, but the Rays starter is still trying to get out of a horrible rut. The rookie gave up four earned runs in back-to-back starts prior to that contest and still hasn’t really recovered from two terrible months as he posted a 6.26 ERA in June and a 7.89 ERA in July before being optioned to Triple-A Durham in August.
Yusei Kikuchi has been slightly better for Toronto but is still arguably in his worst rut of the season as well, having surrendered 21 runs (17 earned) over his last six starts, and six runs in two of his last four outings.
With the total set at a very reasonable 8 runs, I’m taking the Over as my best bet today.
My best bet: Over 8 (-120 at SIA)
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Blue Jays vs Rays same-game parlay
Bichette has been heating up over the past week with six runs driven in over his last seven outings, including a couple of multi-RBI games against the Yankees last series, alongside another RBI against the Rays on Friday. The shortstop is batting .417 against Tampa Bay this season so I’ll look for him to knock in another run Sunday afternoon.
Last but not least, I’m taking Diaz to grab another multi-base effort. The Rays first baseman had a monster performance against Toronto on Saturday, snagging four hits and a home run with eight total bases. Diaz has recorded at least two bases in five of his last seven contests.
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Blue Jays vs Rays moneyline and Over/Under analysis
Tampa Bay opened as the slight home favorite at -122 on the moneyline with Toronto coming in at +100. With the way Bradley has been trending, I think Kikuchi should give the Blue Jays the advantage today.
While the 22-year-old has shown some ability, most recently holding the Angels and Guardians to one run apiece in two of his last four starts, Bradley has been very inconsistent and prone to plenty of meltdowns. The RHP has allowed six home runs over his last three starts and 16 dingers through his last 11 outings.
While the Jays have not been too reliant on the long ball this season, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer have combined for seven home runs this month, so we could see them capitalize on Bradley’s struggles.
Today’s total is set at 8.0 runs and the Over is definitely the play whenever the Jays and Rays come together. The clubs have combined for at least eight runs in seven straight contests and 11 of their last 13 meetings.
Toronto’s offense hasn’t been as deadly as past seasons, but the bats have stepped it up during crunch time, averaging 5.60 runs over the last five games. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay owns the fourth-best offense in the majors this year at 5.23 runs per game.
Trend to know
The Over is 8-3 in Toronto’s last 11 road games. 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:||Sunday, September 24, 2023|
|First pitch:||1:10 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Sportsnet, Bally Sun|
Yusei Kikuchi (10-6, 3.74 ERA): Kikuchi got back into the win column in his last start on September 19, holding the Yankees to one run through five innings — his first victory in eight games. The southpaw has arguably deserved better results, though, considering he’s held the opposition to two earned runs or fewer in nine of his last 12 outings.
Taj Bradley (5-7, 5.36 ERA): Bradley was solid in his last start, scattering three hits and one earned run over five innings, but finished the game with a no-decision, extending his winless streak to 10 games. The rookie has managed to pitch beyond the fifth inning just once over that span.
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