Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated May 12, 2022

The Toronto Blue Jays will face the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time this season as they prepare to open a three-game series in Florida on Friday.

Toronto
19-17
AT
May 13, 2022, 7:10 PM ET
Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay
21-15
Runline -1.5 +140
Moneyline -133
Over / Under o +6.5

85%

Betting Action

15%

Runline +1.5 -168
Moneyline +110
Over / Under u +6.5

85%

Betting Action

15%

The Blue Jays continue a nine-game road trip Friday – which hasn’t gone well so far — by opening a three-game series at defending AL East champion Tampa Bay. The Jays are short favourites to win on the MLB odds for Friday’s game with a small total of 6.5 runs.

Betting Analysis

Friday is the Jays’ first meeting of the season with Tampa Bay, and of course Toronto’s spring training home of Dunedin is just up the road from St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field in Dunedin. The Jays won’t go back to St. Pete until the second half of the season.

Last season, the Rays won 11 of 19 meetings and five of nine at home. Teoscar Hernandez hit .328 in the series with three homers and nine RBIs for Toronto. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was at .292 with three homers and six runs knocked in, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had six home runs and 11 RBIs. Bo Bichette only hit .187 against a good Rays pitching staff and George Springer .156. Brandon Lowe led Tampa Bay by hitting six homers with 10 RBIs in the series. Catcher Mike Zunino had four solo homers. No Rays player had an average of better than .245, however.

Toronto Blue Jays

Sometimes a bad loss can send a team into a tailspin. Will that happen with the Jays? With a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday at the Yankees, closer Jordan Romano gave up a walk-off three-run home run to Aaron Judge and then Toronto lost its fourth in a row Wednesday, 5-3. The day off Thursday perhaps was needed.

We’d have to call Kevin Gausman the Blue Jays’ ace thus far with a 3-1 record, 2.13 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in his six starts, and he gets the call Friday. He allowed three earned in his Blue Jays debut on April 9 vs. Texas but hasn’t given up more than two earned since. He has walked a single batter, which is incredible, and that took until the 137th batter of the season he faced. Naturally, it was four straight balls to Cleveland’s Franmil Reyes last Saturday. Gausman was with the Giants last year so he didn’t face the Rays and only a few have faced him. Kevin Kiermaier has the most, going 6-for-22 with two homers. Toronto has lost four straight series openers.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are basically the same as they have been for the past several years: A rather anonymous team with a great pitching staff but starters that rarely go more than five innings. Kevin Cash has to be considered on the short list of top managers in the game. Despite another tiny payroll, Tampa Bay is again a contender in the AL East. The Rays were no-hit Tuesday night at the Angels but bounced back with a 4-2 win Wednesday to finish a West Coast trip at 7-3. Outfielder and leading hitter Manuel Margot (.337) hasn’t played since Monday with a hamstring injury but is expected in Friday’s lineup.

Converted reliever Drew Rasmussen (3-1, 2.89) is scheduled to start Game 1, and he’s a full-time starter now. Rasmussen has allowed more than two earned just once in his six outings but also gone longer than five innings once. He was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 12.0 innings last year vs. the Jays, who hit .171 off him. Gurriel Jr. is 2-for-5 with a homer vs. Rasmussen. Bichette 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. The Rays are 14-5 in their past 19 Friday games.

MLB Prediction: Who Will Win Blue Jays vs. Rays?

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