Rays vs. Blue Jays MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Offenses Set to Pounce on Weak Pitchers (Thursday, June 30)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- The Blue Jays are short home favorites in tonight's matchup with the Rays.
- Toronto sends Yusei Kikuchi to the mound, while Tampa will counter with a bullpen game.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Rays vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-145|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Despite winning a crucial home series against the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays still find themselves a half game behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings. On Thursday night, the Blue Jays welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Toronto for an important and totally normal five-game series.
Both teams enter Thursday night’s game with 5-5 records over their last 10 games. Yusei Kikuchi will get the start in the opener for the Jays. No starter has been announced for Tampa as of this writing but it’s expected to be a bullpen game.
Rays May Have Pitching Issues
Over the past month the Rays have only posted a 95 team wRC+ on the road against LHP, but they may have an opportunity to pad that stat a little Thursday night facing Kikuchi.
Jeffrey Springs is anticipated to start the series opener and he’s been putting together a great season so far. He’s also posted solid splits, which is a testament to his consistency thus far.
Over 29 and 1/3 road innings, Springs has posted a 2.76 ERA and a 3.03 FIP. While these numbers are slightly padded by solid relief efforts, the bulk of those innings have come in starts.
The Rays’ bullpen may be an issue today as they will go without Ryan Thompson and Brooks Raley, who are two significant contributors to a bullpen that has performed well as of late.
Another factor here is despite a 3.46 ERA over the past few weeks, the Rays’ pen has a 5.17 FIP which is the 4th highest in MLB over that time span.
Blue Jays’ Kikuchi Struggling
The Blue Jays look to put some more distance between themselves and the Rays over the next five games.
However, Kikuchi may not be the guy to help them do that. Over his past five starts, Kikuchi has been knocked around for a 9.39 ERA and has posted a 10.63 FIP. He is regressing hard right now.
The Jays’ offense, on the other hand, has eaten LHP alive at home over the past month. They’ve posted a 161 team wRC+ which is third best in MLB. Their right-handed-heavy lineup may be the first to knock Springs off course this season.
Unfortunately, the Jays’ bullpen has been a mess over the past few weeks. They have the third highest ERA and seventh highest FIP over that span. It has been a slog.
Rays-Blue Jays Pick
Considering the volatility of the Blue Jays’ pitching situation and the explosiveness of the Blue Jays’ offense, the over seems like the best play today.
Springs has pitched well, but if there is an offense that can challenge him, it’s definitely the Jays. On the other side, the Rays’ offense can be streaky, so there’s a good chance they can positively regress against Kikuchi and company Thursday night.
While the Rays’ moneyline does have some appeal, their weakened and shaky bullpen situation against a prolific offense makes that a little tougher. Play it safe and take the over.
Pick: Over 8.5