Blue Jays vs Rays Picks and Predictions: Toronto Steals Crucial Game in Tampa

The wild-card race in the AL continues to heat up, with Tampa taking two off Toronto ahead of today's game. The Rays are favored again but with Alek Manoah on the mound, our picks like the Blue Jays to rebound.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2022 12:05 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Alek Manoah Toronto Blue Jays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

We have an AL East matchup on Saturday between the two teams tied for first in the American League wild-card race. 

Toronto is looking to shake a three-game losing streak, while Tampa Bay enters Saturday evening riding a two-game winning streak.

Which streak will continue? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays Saturday evening matchup.

Blue Jays vs Rays best odds

Blue Jays vs Rays picks and predictions

The Blue Jays are going to snap their three-game losing streak tonight. 

Alek Manoah has been money over his last five games and while the strikeouts are beginning to tail off some, he’s facing a Tampa Bay lineup with a 23% strikeout rate vs. righties. He could possibly exceed his season average of 8.32 strikeouts per nine frames on the road.

Toronto is 1-1 this season when Manoah takes the mound as an away underdog, but the Jays scored just five runs over those two contests. The run production wasn’t there in either contest, and they haven’t supported Manoah much offensively, scoring an average of 3.92 runs per start.

Over 81 at-bats, this current collection of Rays slashes .136/.205/.235/.439 with 23 whiffs along with a pair of bombs. This bodes well for Toronto tonight.

Drew Rasmussen ascended through the minors quickly and while he’s been amazing in his first full season as a big leaguer, he’s beginning to get slapped around the yard a little bit and has surrendered eight earned runs over his past two starts.

Tampa Bay is 8-2 this season when Rasmussen makes the start at home favored, and the Rays offer 4.77 runs of support per start this season. 

Toronto offers a .266/.330/.428/.759 slash line this season with a 20% strikeout rate vs. righties, but slash .193/.253/.273/.525 over 81 at-bats with 15 Ks and one tater vs. the fourth-year starter.

Both sides have terrific bullpens, with the edge going to Tampa Bay, but both ‘pens have thrown a combined 291 pitches over their last two contests, with the Blue Jays throwing 112 fewer pitches than their counterparts.

Finally, Rasmussen hasn’t been very good recently, while Manoah has been lights out over the past five starts. 

My best bet: Blue Jays moneyline (+100 at Coolbet)

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Blue Jays vs Rays moneyline analysis

I had a difficult time deciding between the Jays' first five and full nine moneyline play, but it seemed like good value considering the dead Rays arms in the bullpen.

Toronto has had success vs. Rasmussen. and at the end of the day, the Rays righty hasn’t given us much reason to support him recently, whereas Manoah has been on fire and has pitched decently over his career against this collection of Rays bats.

Finally, Toronto is 8-2 in its last 10 games after losing the first two games of a series and 35-16 in their last 51 games vs. a right-handed starter.

Blue Jays vs Rays Over/Under analysis

The 6.5 run total is a bit low, considering Rasmussen’s recent struggles, but with the ML nearly a pick’em, maybe taking the Over isn’t a bad idea.

Both teams rake righties, with the Blue Jays at No. 2 vs. righties and while Rasmussen isn’t your normal right-hander, he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, and that Toronto wRC+ of 118 looms especially large today.

Finally, the Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings and if I were wagering on the total, I’d lean toward it. 

Blue Jays vs Rays trend to know

The Blue Jays are 35-16 in their last 51 games vs. a right-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Blue Jays vs. Rays

Blue Jays vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2022
First pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet, Bally Sports

Starting pitchers

Alek Manoah (14-7, 2.40 ERA): Manoah takes the hill and he has five earned runs with 29 strikeouts over his past 35 innings pitched. Manoah posts a 3.45 xERA with a 4.01 xFIP, and looking at his away 3.93 xFIP suggests Manoah has some luck on his side both home and away. 

Drew Rasmussen (10-6, 2.92 ERA): Rasmussen has 10 earned runs with 27 punch-outs over the past 27 1-3 frames. Rasmussen records a 3.50 xERA with a 3.50 xFIP including a 3.24 xFIP and maybe the young righty has been a bit unlucky at Tropicana Field. 

Blue Jays vs Rays latest injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Blue Jays vs Rays weather

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