Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays odds, picks and best bets
The eighth-seeded Toronto Blue Jays (32-28 regular season) visit the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays (40-20) Tuesday in Game 1 of a best-of-three Wild Card Series at Tropicana Field. First pitch is 5:07 p.m. ET (on TBS). Below, we analyze the Blue Jays-Rays MLB betting odds and lines, with picks and best bets.
Regular-season series: The Rays won 6-4, including two walk-off victories. However, Toronto outscored Tampa Bay 48-44 in the 10 meetings.
Blue Jays at Rays: Projected starting pitchers
RHP Matt Shoemaker vs. LHP Blake Snell
Shoemaker went 0-1 with a 4.71 ERA (28 2/3 IP, 15 ER) in 6 starts this season.
- Last start: No-decision, 3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 K vs. New York Yankees Sept. 21 - Blue Jays won 11-5
- 2020 vs. Rays: 0-0, 3.60 ERA (15 IP, 6 ER), 17 K in 3 starts - Jays went 1-2
- Career vs. Rays: 4-0, 2.56 ERA (38 2/3 IP, 11 ER) in 7 starts - last win in 2017
Snell went 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA (50 IP, 18 ER) and 63 K in 11 starts.
- Last start: Loss, 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 9 K at New York Mets Sept. 22 - Rays lost 5-2
- 2020 vs. Blue Jays: 0-0, 2.35 ERA (7 2/3 IP, 2 ER), 14 K in 2 starts - Rays went 1-1
- Career vs. Blue Jays: 4-3, 2.81 ERA (64 IP, 20 ER) in 13 starts
Blue Jays at Rays: Key injuries
(Get the latest injury news here.)
- RP Jordan Romano (finger) questionable
- 1B Rowdy Tellez (knee) questionable
- 1B Ji-Man Choi (hamstring) questionable
- 3B Yandy Diaz (hamstring) questionable
- OF Manuel Margot (foot) questionable
- OF Austin Meadows (oblique) out
- OF Brett Phillips (hamstring) questionable
Blue Jays at Rays: Odds, lines, picks and betting tips
Rays 8, Blue Jays 3
Money line (ML)
The RAYS (- 189) are a bit costly, and for good reason. They're 20-9 at home and have their ace on the mound. The Blue Jays (+170) offer a nice value, but Shoemaker isn't the answer, despite a 4-0 career mark vs. the Rays.
Tampa Bay's price is higher than I like, but I'll take my chances with Snell. BET THE RAYS.
If the price drops below -166, this becomes a STRONG PLAY, which should be 1.5 times your usual wager).
New to sports betting? Every winning $1.89 bet on the Rays ML will profit $1. Every $1 bet on the Blue Jays profits $1.70 if they prevail.
PASS. Five of the 10 regular-season meetings between the Rays (-1.5, +115) and Blue Jays (+1.5, -139) were decided by just 1 run. Plus, both teams finished an identical 30-30 vs. the RL this year. AVOID.
The OVER 7.5 ( -110) is the play . Eight of Snell's 11 starts finished with scores of at least 9 total runs, and one of the three that didn't was a seven-inning tilt as half of a doubleheader.
Toronto doesn't plan to have Shoemaker pitch deep into this one as it plans to turn to the bullpen likely before the fifth inning. That 'pen ranks 24th in the majors with a 4.71 ERA.
If the total climbs to 8 or higher, this becomes a small-unit play, half your usual wager.
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