Rays vs Blue Jays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks on Saturday, April 15
Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: Bo Bichette (Blue Jays)
- After getting their 13-game winning streak snapped, the Rays will look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon against the Jays.
- Calvin Faucher heads to the mound for Tampa while Toronto sends Yusei Kikuchi to the bump.
- There are two bets Nick Martin is targeting for Rays vs. Blue Jays today as a result.
Rays vs. Blue Jays Odds
-102 / -120
|Blue Jays Odds|
-102 / -120
Tampa Bay fell to Toronto in the series opener, 6-3, to snap a 13-game win streak, but the Rays will have a chance to start a new one on Saturday in a matchup versus Yusei Kikuchi.
Tampa will open the contest with pitcher Calvin Faucher, who will likely lead into Josh Fleming for the bulk of the contest.
Faucher will open up for the Rays and lead into what will become a bullpen day, with Fleming likely picking up the bulk of the work.
Faucher has pitched to an ERA of 4.50 in six innings this season with a WHIP of 1.33. He has pitched to a strong 4.58 QOPA in those innings, but does boast an alarmingly high 11.89 xERA, albeit in a fairly irrelevant sample size.
Fleming will likely take over from there. He pitched to an ERA of 6.43 in 35 innings last season, with a much more respectable xERA of 4.37. He’s thrown seven innings in 2023 to an ERA of 6.50, but again seems to be suffering from some tough luck with an xERA of 3.79.
Right-handed batters, in particular, have roasted Fleming to a WHIP of 2.30 in his MLB career, and the Rays will likely look to time his entry into the game away from the top of Toronto’s order as a result.
Tampa has hit to a wRC+ rating of 162 so far this season and has been playing an absurdly dominant brand of baseball offensively.
That mark will regress heavily (its wRC+ dropped by six from Friday’s loss alone), especially as Tampa has faced a very easy slate of pitching from some bad teams.
Regardless, it is still likely to be a top third offensive side the rest of the way.
Tampa leads the league with a 9.9 barrel per/PA rate and is striking out just 19% of the time with a solid 9.9% walk-rate.
Tampa’s traditionally scrappy process and ability to extend innings could be particularly irritating for Kikuchi, who has regularly displayed command issues, setting the table for blowup innings.
The Rays have no drop off in splits versus left-handed pitching as well, with a 162 wRC+ and .397 wOBA.
Kikuchi’s incredible spring was a cause for optimism among Blue Jays fans, but as we see often see, those spring training results have not entirely converted over to the games that matter.
Kikuchi has pitched to an ERA of 6.75 in two appearances thus far, with an xERA of 6.69.
Last season, Kikuchi pitched over 100 innings to an xERA of 5.18. He owned a shocking 12.8% walk-rate, which combined with a 47.9% hard-hit rate that led to a nightmare debut season with Toronto.
It still makes sense to think the quality of his stuff could eventually find more results, but more in the frame of a lower middle-of-the-pack starter sitting in the 4.5-5.0 ERA range.
Offensively, Toronto has looked to be a true powerhouse, as all of the key stars are hammering away, including a ridiculous start from Matt Chapman.
Chapman is still barreling nearly a quarter of all baseballs he sees and owns a .553 xwOBA.
Toronto has hit to a .346 xwOBA so far and owns a 115 wRC+ rating as a team.
Rays vs. Blue Jays Betting Pick
Expecting a lot of runs in this game is certainly the square take, and the over 9.5 will be a very popular look Saturday for good reason.
Both offenses have been in tremendous form and each is getting a very reasonable pitching matchup.
Toronto should continue to be more potent versus left-handed pitching this year and will likely do some damage off of Fleming and Faucer early on.
Fleming could potentially be an undervalued starter in some matchups moving forwards, but I’ll move past that considering what I believe about this Jays offense right now.
I actually think it’s still more likely that Kikuchi is not completely terrible this year than most might feel, but even still, I would agree it’s hard to see a middling starter keeping the Rays in check right now.
One or both of these sides could break through with a massive offensive performance that covers most of our 10 runs needed.
-120 is a good number to bet this game to go over 9.5 runs, and I would play 9.5 to -130. -115 is a good number for the Jays to stay hot and record over 4.5 runs, as well
Pick: Toronto Blue Jays Over 4.5 Runs (-115) | Over 9.5 Runs (-120)
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