Jose Berrios brings his rough road splits to the Trop and faces a Tampa Bay Rays team waiting for the traveling Toronto Blue Jays after last night’s extra-inning loss in Philadelphia. The Jays have historically struggled in Tampa and I’m expecting Berrios’ recent command issues to continue tonight.
Find out where my best bet is in my free MLB picks and predictions for Jays vs. Rays on Thursday, September 22.
Blue Jays vs Rays best odds
Blue Jays vs Rays picks and predictions
The walk market is one where there's money to be made, as the totals are either 0.5 or 1.5 and paying great plus money for the Over 1.5. Today, Berrios has a walk total of 1.5 paying +155 to the Over. With the way he's been pitching on the road, this is my best play tonight in a game I think he gets a long leash after the travel and bullpen use form last night.
Berrios has issued at least one walk in 26 of his 29 starts so this plus-money play has legs already. He’s hit the Over 1.5 walks in 12 of his 29 games this season and has had some control issues over his last three starts.
On the season, Berrios has a 67% strike rate, but over his last three turns, he's throwing strikes at 59% with five walks. On the road, Berrios has a 2.25 BB/9 and faces a Tampa team that sits in the top half of the league in BB%.
With Berrios having so much run on most of his pitches, even when he is on, his stuff can be difficult to locate.
My best bet: Jose Berrios Over 1.5 walks (+155 at bet365)
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Blue Jays vs Rays betting preview
The Jays opened as -135 favorites, but the market is moving towards the Rays — 10 points as of writing. The early movement is likely tied into the fact that the Jays played an extra-inning game in Philadelphia last night while the Rays were at home vs. the Astros. The travel schedule is not in their favor and neither are Berrios’ road splits.
Berrios has been more than awful this year over 14 road starts. Opponents are hitting .303 vs. him and have a 0.891 OPS. This also includes 17 home runs across 72-plus innings. Over his last five road games, he's allowed 13 runs, which include some solid offenses in the Red Sox and Yankees.
The Rays will have their bullpen at full strength with only one high-leverage arm being used in yesterday’s loss. Opener JT Chargois will likely go just one inning after throwing in back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday. This bullpen finished with the second-best WAR a season ago and has the No. 6 ERA this season.
Santiago Espinal left last night’s game and is questionable for today with discomfort in his side. The loss is a big blow to the Jays’ defense at second base, and he gives quality at-bats in the lower third for the lineup. Lourdes Gurriel is also on the shelf.
The Rays may have Yandy Diaz back in the lineup. There was a rumored scuffle between him and Randy Arozarena (who returned to the lineup last night) and neither has been in the lineup at the same time since. It has been three days so getting Diaz back is likely a priority for this divisional game.
The Jays are 16-35 SU in their last 51 trips to Tampa while Berrios was a -160 home favorite in his last start vs. the Rays, which was also an opener situation. That would make today’s -130 line roughly 25 points short.
The Rays have seen just one total above 7 over their last six games, but tonight we’re seeing 7.5, which hasn’t moved since opening and leans to the Over.
Berrios’ road struggles help support an Over bet here, while the Jays using their best relief arms in a blown save last night helps project for more late-inning scoring.
The Toronto offense scuffled vs. Zack Wheeler last night but has been hot over the last 30 days. They're the second-best offense in baseball over the last four weeks with a 120 wRC+, a .263 batting average, and a .772 OPS.
Tampa doesn’t have a great offense and has been profitable to the Under this season, but getting Arozarena and possibly Diaz back is massive, as they're two of the team’s best bats. The Rays know how to play the matchup game and have had success this season vs. Berrios across two starts — 14 hits and four runs over 11-plus innings.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 7-0 in Berrios' last seven road starts vs. a team with a winning record. Find more MLB betting trends for Blue Jays vs. Rays
Blue Jays vs Rays game info
• Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
• Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022
• First pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET
• TV: Sportsnet, Bally Sports
Jose Berrios (11-5, 4.99 ERA): Berrios will take his 6.19 road ERA to the Trop where he is 0-2 over three starts with a 6.80 ERA over his career. He has, however, allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts, but the right-hander gives up a ton of hits (180 over 158 innings). He might have a longer leash after last night’s extra-inning loss as the Jays try to protect the bullpen for a four-game set with Rays.
JT Chargois (2-0, 2.76 ERA): Chargois was announced as a late starter. This will be his third start this season and he will be good for three to six outs before handing things over to the pen. He has a rather high FIP (4.95) and both games he started this season have hit the Over easily. He’s seen the Jays just twice this season and has allowed two hits over two-plus innings.
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