AL Wild Card: Blue Jays vs. Rays – 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The Tampa Bay Rays are the top-seeded team in the American League and open their best-of-3 Wild-Card series at home vs. the No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. All Wild-Card games are at the home park of the better-seeded team and then every series after is at a neutral site. The Rays are favored on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Blue Jays at Rays MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 5 PM ET
  • Where: Tropicana Field
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Hyun-Jin Ryu/Blake Snell
  • TV: TBS
  • Stream/gameday audio: TBS app
  • Opening MLB Lines: Rays -150, Blue Jays +130 (total 7)

Why Bet on Toronto? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

Toronto was 4-6 against Tampa Bay this season. Four of the Blue Jays’ losses were by one run. The Blue Jays last reached the postseason in 2016 as a wild-card entry. Toronto went on to reach the American League Championship Series for the second straight year. Toronto’s last World Series victory came in 1993.

The Jays should have reliever Jordan Romano available. He threw live batting practice Sunday, about 15-20 pitches at max effort and looked good, according to Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. The club will wait and see how he feels Monday, but he’s tracking toward being available.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo knows the Rays organization well as he was a manager for Tampa’s Triple-A affiliate for eight years and a former bench coach with the Rays under their current manager Kevin Cash.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. finished the season with a bang by going 4-for-4 on Sunday. The 4 hits tied a season high for the 3rd time (9/6 at BOS; 9/17 at NYY) and he was one of only four players in the majors this season with at least 3 different four-hit games this year. Gurriel went 50-for-146 (.342) with 11-2B, 10 HR and 30 RBI (1.009 OPS) over his last 40 games (hit .226 (14-for-62, 3-2B, 1 HR) in his first 17 games).

The Jays signed lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2) to a four-year, $80 million contract this offseason and he will get the call here. Ryu blanked the Yankees for seven innings last Thursday in his most recent start to finish with a 2.69 ERA.

Ryu was the first Blue Jays starter to pitch into the seventh since last Aug. 22, a span of 90 straight games and 399 days, a Major League record. Ryu didn’t get a decision in two starts this year vs. Tampa Bay.

The Blue Jays went 9-3 in games Ryu started this season. He allowed one or fewer runs in eight of his 12 starts, tied with the Padres Dinelson Lamet and Trevor Bauer of the Reds for most in the Majors; the rest of the Blue Jays rotation had eight such games combined. His 2.69 ERA is the lowest for a Blue Jays starting pitcher who played a full year since Roger Clemens in his Cy Young Award-winning season in 1998.

Why Bet on Tampa Bay? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The Rays were one of two teams (Dodgers) to win 40 or more games this season. The Rays were 6-0-4 in home series this season and 11-0-4 since Aug 30, 2019. Their last home series loss was Aug 19-21, 2019 vs. Seattle. The Rays have an AL-most 20 come-from-behind wins this season, 2nd in the majors behind the Padres (22).

The Rays went 27-13 (.675) against the AL East, the best intradivision winning pct. in franchise history. The Rays won the season series against all four AL East teams for the second time (2010).

Tampa has a stellar bullpen. Nick Anderson, Diego Castillo and Pete Fairbanks have been fantastic. Anderson was one of, if not the best, reliever in the Majors this season, posting a 0.55 ERA in 19 appearances. Overall, the Rays’ pitching staff has been so key to the team’s success that despite losing five pitchers to season-ending injuries and having 12 pitchers on the IL at one point, the club finished second in the AL with a 3.56 ERA.

The Rays rarely let their starters face batters three (or more) times in a start, and their own hitters show why: Tampa Bay hitters have slugged over .560 against starters the third time around. Rays hitters are collectively 47% better the third time through the order than they are overall, which is the AL’s biggest third-time-through bump since 2000.

Will the Rays have outfielder Brett Phillips? He was lifted from Sunday’s game against the Phillies due to right hamstring tightness. Phillips is being called day-to-day for now, but he might not be an option for this series. Manuel Margot is also in question after being scratched Sunday with a sore foot.

It’s lefty and 2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell on the mound. Though he struck out nine, Snell (4-2) took a loss to the Mets after allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings last Tuesday in his final regular-season start. Snell gave up solo homers in the second and fourth innings. The third run scored after he was pulled with a man on second and two outs in the sixth. Snell still hasn’t made it through six innings in any of his 11 starts this year, but he’s been quite effective in amassing a 3.24 ERA.

Snell allowed two runs over 7 2/3 innings in two starts against the Blue Jays this season. In 13 career starts against Toronto, Snell has posted a 2.81 ERA. This will be the first Game 1 start of Snell’s career.

Expert PredictionRays 3, Blue Jays 2

MLB Baseball Betting News

Odds and Lines

Comments are closed.