MLB Baseball Betting: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

MLB Baseball Betting:  Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays&h=235&w=320&zc=1

We were smart enough to consider the possibility of a ‘letdown’ spot for the Toronto Blue Jays as they head into a series with lowly Tampa Bay. We weren’t smart enough to bet the game correctly, however, as Tampa routed Toronto 8-3. Marcus Stroman took the loss though he didn’t pitch *that* badly allowing 5 hits and 3 earned runs in 6 innings of work. Alex Cobb looked pretty good in his first Major League start in over a year–5 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 ER 7 strikeouts and just 1 walk. So as of Friday night with the outcome of the Boston Red Sox’s game at Oakland still pending the AL East looks like this: Toronto is in first place by 1.5 games over Boston and 3 games over Baltimore. The Yankees are 6.5 games out of first. Tampa Bay is *way* behind that but they’ve split their last 10 games and as the Jays learned tonight can’t be taken lightly.

Toronto has straightened out their pitching rotation for the weekend and early next week. Marco Estrada will get the start here, J.A. Happ will start on Sunday, R.A. Dickey will start the series opener at Yankee Stadium on Monday with Aaron Sanchez starting on Sunday. For now, Francisco Liriano will be sent to the bullpen though manager John Gibbons says he’ll be back in the rotation ‘at some point’.

Tampa Bay will start left hander Blake Snell who has a reasonable ERA–3.56 in 14 starts with a 3.66 ERA at home–but the Rays have lost 10 of his 14 assignments including 5 of 8 on the road. He’s got a 5.40 ERA over his last three games which looks to be more of a case of the Jays keeping him on something of a ‘short leash’–he went 5 innings allowing 1 ER on 8/16 against San Diego, went 3 2/3 innings allowing 2 ER on 8/22 against Boston and 3 innings allowing 9 hits and 4 earned runs in his last start at Houston. Tampa Bay has been awful against right handed pitching this year (41-57 -21 units) but Toronto has been at their worst against left handers (20-18 -4.6 units) hitting just .236 and averaging 4.3 runs per game. No line on this one yet due to the Jays’ rotation disarray but when it gets posted we’ll back the home team.


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