Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#5965 Toronto Blue Jays vs.
#5966 Tampa Bay Rays
Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 1:40pm EDT
Written by Chris King

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It’s the conclusion of a weekend series between a pair of teams from the AL East on the diamond down in the Sunshine State. The Toronto Blue Jays are on the road as they play the finale of a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday afternoon. In the opening game of the series Friday night, it was Tampa Bay picking up a 5-2 victory to draw first blood in the series at the Trop. Which team gets the upper hand on getaway day here? This article was published prior to the conclusion of the middle game of the series Saturday evening.

Toronto Blue Jays Hoping to Get Back on Track

Toronto suffered a fifth straight defeat as they were upended on the road in the opening game of this set thanks to a late-inning rally. The Blue Jays entered Saturday third in the AL East race, 7.5 games behind the Yankees for the top spot in the division race. On Friday night, Toronto finished with six hits with Raimel Tapia (run, RBI) the lone player with two in the contest. Tapia and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. each drove in a run for the Blue Jays in a losing effort. Kevin Gausman (3-2) took the loss on the mound as he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts over seven-plus innings of work.

Alek Manoah is on the mound for the Blue Jays as he makes his seventh start of the season in this contest. He comes in 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA, a 0.889 WHIP, nine walks and 35 strikeouts over 36 innings of action. Manoah didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came last Sunday on the road against the Guardians. He threw five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts in a game the Blue Jays dropped 4-3. In his last three starts, Manoah is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA, a 0.78 WHIP, three walks and 17 strikeouts over 18 innings of work. Manoah makes his fifth career start against the Rays in this contest. He is 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA, a 0.892 WHIP, 10 walks and 36 strikeouts over 24.2 innings of work against them. Manoah is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA, a 1.759 WHIP, nine walks and 16 strikeouts over 9.2 innings in two career starts at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay Rays Trying to Gain Ground in AL East Race

Tampa Bay won their second straight and their eighth in the last 11 games as they scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie en route to the win. The Rays entered Saturday second in the AL East, 4.5 games behind the Yankees for the top spot in the division. In Friday’s game, Brandon Lowe (run, RBI) and Mike Zunino (RBI) each had two hits in the contest. Drew Rasmussen didn’t factor in the decision as he threw 5.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout. Andrew Kittredge (3-0) threw a scoreless eighth inning, allowing no hits or walks while striking out one, to earn the win. Jason Adam fanned one in a scoreless ninth to record his first save of the year.

The Rays have yet to officially announce a starter for this one but the expectation is that Corey Kluber will be on the hill for his seventh start of the season. He is 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA, a 1.315 WHIP, six walks and 27 strikeouts over 29.2 innings of work this season. Kluber took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday on the road against the Angels. He gave up eight runs on 11 hits with no walks and two strikeouts over three innings in a game the Rays lost 12-0 as they were no-hit by Reid Detmers. In his last three starts, Kluber is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA, a 1.067 WHIP, one walk and 15 strikeouts over 15 innings of work. Kluber makes his 11th career start against the Blue Jays in this contest. He is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA, a 1.615 WHIP, 25 walks and 57 strikeouts over 52 innings of work against them. Kluber is 3-3 with a 4.22 ERA, a 1.265 WHIP, 13 walks and 49 strikeouts over 49 innings in nine career starts at Tropicana Field.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Tampa Bay has played solid baseball of late but the fact remains that Kluber has been inconsistent at best this season. He was rocked in his last outing, which came against the Angels in a game where the Rays failed to register a hit. Manoah has pitched well, even with a pair of no-decisions in his last two starts. The Blue Jays are due to bounce back and they have a major edge on the mound given Kluber’s struggles this season. While Toronto has sputtered of late, facing Kluber, who has allowed opposing hitters to post a .282 batting average, a number that jumps to .350 in his last two starts. Give the upper hand to the Blue Jays as Manoah holds the Rays in check and delivers a victory here on getaway day.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays +105

Full-Game Total Pick

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Toronto has seen the under hit in 18 of their 32 games this season entering Saturday’s action. The Blue Jays are 22nd in runs per game with 3.79 runs per contest, though that number drops to 3.59 runs per game on the road this season. That is just 22nd in the majors when it comes to run production on the road. Toronto’s average total this season is 8.06 runs per game and that number drops to 7.47 runs per game on the road. Tampa Bay entered Saturday having seen the under post a 15-14-3 mark in their 32 games this season. The Rays are 12th in runs per game with 4.30 runs per contest, though that number falls to 3.88 runs per game at home. Tampa Bay has an average total of 8.60 runs per contest, a number that drops slightly to 8.29 runs per contest as the home team. With Toronto struggling to generate a ton of offense and Manoah keeping Tampa Bay in check, this game winds up falling under the total.

Prediction: Under 8.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.