Blue Jays vs. Rays Odds, Preview, Prediction: Where to Find Value on Saturday Afternoon (July 10)
Joshua Bessex/Getty Images. Pictured: George Springer.
- Tampa hosts AL East rival Toronto on Saturday afternoon for the second game of their three-game series.
- Both teams have been heating up at the plate over the last few weeks, and the total is only set at 8.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down both pitchers below and why he thinks the total is too low.
Blue Jays vs. Rays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||+104|
|Time||Saturday, 1:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via FanDuel|
The Rays go for their sixth straight win on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.
Toronto could be seen as unlucky to be just 44-41 with a +73 run differential. The Blue Jays’ division rival and opponent on Saturday is just 11 runs better than them but 6 1/2 games up on them in the standings.
Let’s break down the pitching matchup and where we see betting value.
Blue Jays Pack Punch at the Plate
It was a matchup with the Rays that actually got Ross Stripling going. He threw seven scoreless innings against Tampa Bay following an opener back on May 24. Starting with that great outing, Stripling has a 2.35 ERA over his last eight games, spanning 46 innings. Opponents have a .555 OPS against Stripling.
The right-hander also started against the Rays his last time out, allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings. With that start, his ERA has gone from 7.20 to 4.06 during that previously mentioned span. His success is reflected by a 4.29 xFIP.
The Blue Jays entered Friday ranked second in OPS this season, and they were at .845 over the past two weeks, which is tied for third in the majors behind only the White Sox and Padres.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the Blue Jays’ juggernaut offense with a 1.110 OPS, entering play on Friday. Marcus Semien has an .870 mark and is an All-Star starter, while both Bo Bichette (.832) and Teoscar Hernandez make up a stellar top of the lineup.
Toronto has recently gotten a boost, as well, in the form of center fielder George Springer, who missed most of the first 2 1/2 months of the season. Through 18 games entering Friday, Springer’s .823 OPS and five home runs got him into that top part of the lineup, making it even more dangerous.
Every hitter I just mentioned is right-handed, but the Blue Jays don’t thrive as much against southpaws this season. Their .764 OPS against lefties is solid, but it’s just seventh in MLB.
Rays Enter on Win Streak
Ryan Yarbrough is not going to blow anyone away, but he’s as serviceable as they come for the Rays.
The left-hander has a 4.30 career xFIP and 4.03 ERA, which he’s near this season at a 4.34 ERA and 4.21 xFIP. Yarbrough features a four-pitch arsenal, primarily throwing his cutter and changeup about 70% of the time. He’s not going to strike out a huge number, but he makes contact, hits corners and is difficult to barrel a lot.
The Rays’ lineup ranks in the middle of MLB in OPS at 16th but has been slightly better over the past two weeks, ranking ninth at .783.
Tampa Bay has won five straight games, and it’s been mostly due to pitching, aside from Monday’s 9-8 win over the Indians. In the other four matchups, the Rays have allowed a combined three runs.
Offensively, Wander Franco hasn’t hit the ground running after a home run in his debut, while Austin Meadows (.823) has been good but not great. Brandon Lowe (.746) and Randy Arozarena (.743) also haven’t built off strong 2020 seasons.
Tampa Bay ranks ninth with a .783 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, and they have struggled against Stripling, as previously mentioned.
Blue Jays-Rays Pick
The Blue Jays have scored at least five runs in four of their last six games, while Tampa Bay is thriving. Stripling, while fantastic of late, is due for some regression here, and I could see his run of brilliance ending here.
This total is a half run, maybe one whole run, too small, so I’ll go ahead and back runs in this afternoon contest.
Pick: Over 8 runs