Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays: Free MLB Picks
In: MLB Free Picks
Free Picks Newsletter Lead Researcher
160-109-1 Overall Record
MLB Predictions: Tampa Bay Rays (106) vs Toronto Blue Jays (-113) Over-Under 8.5
In the 3rd match up of the series, the defending AL Wildcard Champions take on the Blue Jays of Toronto in sure to be both spoiler teams in the AL Playoff picture later this year. Both at this point have taken a game in the 3 game series and both try and take a rubberneck victory.
The recent steps both teams have taken in the past few years have set them up for an actual run in the AL East, easily MLB’s toughest division. The Rays have shown they can hang with the top gunners of the division but what about the Blue Jays? They stuck it out until after the All-Star Game last year then quickly let distance get the best of them. This year I think they will both battle it out for the Wild Card.
Enough about the past a future, you guys want to see some actual stats and reasons to pull for who. Well you are in the right place.
The Rays have been taking an interesting start to the season sweeping the Yankees in the opener and then almost getting swept by the Red Sox. While doing damage the team is at .500 and should be playing better than they are. They only rank in the top 10 for OPS and thats right at 10. Not bad but also not terrible. Biggest thing for the Rays
is the greta pitching they have set up and the highly praised bullpen Joe Maddon has set up for them. Power hitting may be the best option for them in this game.
But lets not forget whos up to pitch: Jeremy Hellickson. A guy that has really come out of his shell last season and this year looks to be the real deal. With only 5 KOs and a 3.29 ERA he doesn’t seem like that great of a pitcher but its early and after the way he played last season I can totally put my faith in this Ray. Only thing that scares me is the heavy hitter for the Blue Jays. No one just takes it on the chin from Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Now as for the Blue Jays, Henderson Alvarez has a better ERA of 2.77 but only has 4 KOs and is starting his first game this season. It will be interesting to see how he plays up to the former Devil Rays. With the Rays hitting not really doing much until the 2nd game scoring 12 runs, I could see the score again running up fairly high but the Jays
sticking in. Henderson could surprise us just like Matt Moore in the playoffs last season with the Rays.
Below is the projected starting line up for the Tampa Bay Rays. Please keep in mind that this is not official. I am doing this just so you can see some of the names in case you missed the off season acquisitions and departures.
Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, Luke Scott, Jeff Keppinger, Reid Brignac, Matt Joyce, Jose Molina, Sean Rodriguez
Tampa Bay Rays Major Injury Report – Sam Fuld, Bj Upton
Below is the projected starting line up for the Toronto Blue Jays
Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie, Rajai Davis, Omar Vizquel, J.P. Arencibia, Colby Rasmus, Jeff Mathis, Eric Thames
No Injuries for the Blue Jays
My overall prediction is that they Rays with just a little more heart and a better pitcher will take the “W” with an early lead from the 3rd inning. Hellickson will bring the heat and the Rays will move back above .500 and continue their way into the top of the AL East
I’ll Take the Tampa bay Rays in this game to finish this series out
Pick Rays +106