Toronto Blue Jays (30-37 SU, 32-35 RL, 31-30-6 O/U) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (31-35 SU, 37-29 RL, 31-32-3 O/U)
MLB: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 1:10 EST
The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays will wrap up a three-game series when they tee it up again at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay on Wednesday afternoon. Toronto dropped the first two contests of this set, thus seeing a four-game winning streak come to an end. The Rays have emerged from a prolonged slump with three victories in their last four outings.
Happy with Happ on the mound
Toronto amassed 56 hits in a four-game sweep of Baltimore before dropping the first two against the Rays. The Blue Jays managed only five singles in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay. First baseman Justin Smoak was hitless in three at-bats on Tuesday and is 0-for-16 over the last five games.
Left-hander J.A. Happ (8-3, 3.71 ERA) is taking the mound for Toronto on Wednesday. Happ improved to 4-0 in his last five outings with another strong effort against Baltimore, allowing one unearned run on two hits over 7.0 innings. It was the sixth quality start in the last nine appearances for the 35-year-old, who is 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA in five starts away from home. Tampa Bay’s Matt Duffy is 5-for-10 with a homer and three RBIs against Happ, who has struggled in 15 careers dates with Tampa Bay to the tune of a 3-4 record and 5.05 ERA.
Calm before the storm
After ending a streak of three consecutive series losses, the Rays can complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Blue Jays on Wednesday. With its starting rotation ravaged by injuries, Tampa Bay used six relievers to stymie Toronto on Tuesday and will hope to utilize the same formula in the series finale. Wilson Ramos provided the Rays with all the runs they needed, swatting a two-run homer to extend his hitting streak to five games. Joey Wendle and Mallex Smith delivered RBI singles for Tampa Bay, which after Wednesday will play 14 of its next 16 games against the Yankees and Houston.
Wilmer Font (0-3, 9.59 ERA) will oppose Happ on Wednesday. Following ugly stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics this season, the right-hander is finding a home with the Rays–sporting a 3.24 ERA in his five appearances. He served as the opener last time out in his first outing at Tropicana Park last Friday against Seattle and took the loss after striking out a season-high five batters and giving up two runs and two hits in 2.1 innings. Matt Andriese is expected to follow Font to the mound.
The Toronto Blue Jays are:
- 4-1 in their last five overall
- 5-1 in their last six games against teams with losing records
- 4-1 in their last five games against the American League East
The Tampa Bay Rays are:
- 2-9 in their last 11 overall
- 1-5 in their last six games against left-handed starters
- 7-17 in their last 24 games against starters with WHIPs under 1.15
The Blue Jays are 4-1 in their last five overall, 5-1 in their last six against losing opponents, 4-1 in their last five against the American League East, 4-1 in their last five on astroturf, 4-1 in Happ’s last five starts, and 6-2 in his last eight road starts. Tampa Bay is 2-9 in its last 11 overall, 7-17 in its last 24 against starters with WHIPs under 1.15, 1-5 in its last six against left-handed starters, and 0-5 in its last five at home against left-handed starters. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: Toronto Blue Jays
The over is 16-5-2 in the Blue Jays’ last 23 overall, 3-0-1 in their last four on the road against opponents with losing home records, 7-3-2 in Happ’s last 12 starts, 5-0-1 in his last six road starts, and 3-1-2 in his last six starts against losing opponents. It is also 5-1 in the Rays’ last six overall, 5-1 in their last six at home, and 5-2 in their last seven at home against opponents with losing road records. Look for this one to go over the total.