Blue Jays vs. Rays Game 1 MLB Playoff Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Sep 28, 2020

blue jays playoffs

In a pretty big surprise, the Toronto Blue Jays are not starting ace Hyun-Jin Ryu in Tuesday's Game 1 but Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.71).

Toronto
32-28
AT
September 29, 2020, 5:07 PM ET
Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay
40-20
Runline +1.5 -140
Moneyline +140
Over / Under o +7.5

59%

Betting Action

41%

Runline -1.5 +116
Moneyline -165
Over / Under u +7.5

59%

Betting Action

41%

The Toronto Blue Jays open their American League Wild-Card best-of-3 series at the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the Rays opening as solid game and series favourites on the MLB odds.

MLB Wild Card Blue Jays vs. Rays Betting Analysis

Very different playoff format this season in Major League Baseball with a total of 16 teams making the postseason. The Wild-Card series is a best-of-3 with all games at the home park of the better-seeded team and then the rest of the postseason will be held at a neutral-site bubbles in Dallas, Los Angeles and San Diego. Don’t be surprised if the 16-team format is here to stay.

Tampa Bay finished as the American League’s top seed, winning the AL East title with a 40-20 record. Only the Dodgers in the NL had more victories. Toronto was the last AL Wild-Card team with a 32-28 record.

It’s the first time these franchises have met in the playoffs. On the series line, Tampa Bay is -195 and Toronto +150. The Rays won the season series 6-4 and were 4-3 at Tropicana Field, which isn’t too far from the Blue Jays’ spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla. The Jays actually outscored the Rays in the series 48-44.

Tampa is 21-10 in the past 13 meetings overall. The over is 3-1-1 in the past five at Tropicana Field.

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo was the manager of the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate for eight seasons and former bench coach in Tampa under Rays manager Kevin Cash. In a pretty big surprise, the Blue Jays are not starting ace Hyun-Jin Ryu on Tuesday but Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.71); Ryu will start Game 2. Shoemaker missed a month with a lat strain and returned on Sept. 21, allowing one run over three innings against the Yankees.

He was scheduled to take the mound again Saturday but was scratched with apparently this in mind. Shoemaker pitched three times vs. the Rays this year, allowing six runs in 15 innings. He didn’t get a decision. Brandon Lowe is 3-for-7 career off him with a homer. Kevin Kiermaier just 2-for-15. Montoyo made sure to mention that is bullpen is fully rested, so it’s not likely Shoemaker will go that deep into this one. The Jays 4-1 in their past five vs. the AL East.

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay was one of the best teams in the majors at home with a 20-9 record and closed the regular season on a four-game winning streak. Rays pitchers led the AL in strikeouts. It’s lefty and 2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell (4-2, 3.24) on the mound Tuesday. He had a very disappointing, injury-plagued 2019 campaign but bounced back nicely in 2020.

Snell will be on a week of rest as he last pitched Sept. 22 at the Mets, allowing three runs over 5.2 innings. He didn’t get a decision in two outings vs. the Blue Jays with a 2.35 ERA in 7.2 innings. In 13 career starts against Toronto, Snell has posted a 2.81 ERA. Randal Grichuk has seen him more than any Blue Jays batter but hasn’t had much success in going 3-for-19 with 11 strikeouts. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has two homers against Snell in 11 at-bats. Tampa Bay is 22-8 in its past 30 series openers.

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

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