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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays,
9-23-2018 - Prediction & Preview

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#967 Tampa Bay
Rays -155
#968 Toronto
Blue Jays 8

Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 1:05pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Tampa Bay Rays
B. SNELL

86 - 68

20
W's
5
L's
1.97
ERA
0.97
WHIP

Toronto Blue Jays
R. BORUCKI

71 - 84

4
W's
4
L's
3.86
ERA
1.33
WHIP

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It’s the conclusion of a weekend series between AL East rivals north of the border. The Tampa Bay Rays play the final game of a four game series with the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday afternoon. The teams split the first two games of the series with Toronto rallying for a 9-8 win Thursday night with seven runs in the ninth inning. Tampa Bay squared the set by rolling to an 11-3 victory on Friday night. The pitching matchup for Saturday’s third game of the series saw Tyler Glasnow take the ball for the Rays. He was scheduled to face Toronto’s Thomas Pannone. First pitch in the contest was scheduled for 4:07 pm ET.

Tampa Bay Rays Hoping to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

Tampa Bay bounced back from Thursday’s gut punch of a defeat by rolling to an easy victory. The Rays improved to 86-67 and trailed Boston by 18.5 games in the AL West. Tampa Bay is 6.5 games behind the A’s for the second wild card spot with nine games to go so their playoff hopes are slim. The Rays were tied at three after four innings before scoring eight runs in the next three frames to roll to victory. Austin Meadows (two runs, three RBI) had three hits for Tampa Bay while Ji-Man Choi (two runs) and Tommy Pham (run, two RBI) each added a pair. Diego Castillo allowed a run on one hit with a strikeout in his inning of work as the opener. Jalen Beeks (5-1) earned the win with three innings of relief: he allowed two runs on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Austin Pruitt threw three scoreless frames to earn his third save.

Blake Snell is on the hill for his 30th start of the season for Tampa Bay in this contest. He comes in 20-5 with a 1.97 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, 58 walks and 200 strikeouts over 169 innings of work this season. Snell picked up the win in his last start, which came against the Rangers on the road Tuesday night. He threw five innings, allowing no runs on one hit with two walks and five strikeouts in a 4-0 Tampa Bay win. Snell is 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA, a 0.63 WHIP, four walks and 23 strikeouts over 17.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his seventh career start against the Blue Jays in this contest: he is 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA, a 1.253 WHIP, 15 walks and 27 strikeouts over 30.1 innings of work. Snell is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA, a 1.472 WHIP, eight walks and 15 strikeouts over 17.2 innings of work in four career starts at Rogers Centre.

Toronto Blue Jays Seek Win on Getaway Day

Toronto’s bats didn’t have Thursday night’s magic in Friday’s contest as they lost for just the second time in their last seven. The Blue Jays fell to 70-84 on the year and trailed the Red Sox by 35 games in the AL East entering Saturday. Toronto received three hits from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (two runs, two RBI), including his 10th and 11th homers of the year. The rest of the team was a combined four of 29 in the contest. Randal Grichuk hit a solo homer, his 24th, to account for the other Blue Jays run. Sean Reid-Foley (2-4) took the loss as he allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in four plus innings of work.

Ryan Borucki is slated to take the ball and make his 16th start of the season for the Blue Jays in this one. He is 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA, a 1.333 WHIP, 26 walks and 57 strikeouts over 84 innings of action this season in the majors. Borucki picked up the win in his last start, which came on the road against the Orioles Monday night. He threw eight scoreless innings, allowing three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in a 5-0 Toronto triumph. Borucki is 1-1 with a 1.77 ERA, a 0.69 WHIP, five walks and 17 strikeouts over 20.1 innings in his last three starts. He lost to the Rays in his lone career start against them, which came back on September 4 here. In that contest, he threw six innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a 4-0 Toronto defeat. Borucki is 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA, a 1.232 WHIP, eight walks and 27 strikeouts over 37.1 innings in six career starts at Rogers Centre. Prior to his callup, he was 6-5 with a 3.27 ERA, a 1.169 WHIP, 28 walks and 58 strikeouts over 77 innings in 13 starts for Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Blue Jays have gotten solid production from several of their younger guys like Borucki, Gurriel Jr. and to some extent, Reid-Foley. The problem for Toronto here is that they’re facing arguably the hottest pitcher in the league. Snell has won eight straight starts and is unbeaten since the All Star break. He leads the league in ERA and wins while allowing a league-low 5.6 hits per nine innings. With the momentum he has, knowing that the faint hopes that the Rays have for the postseason hinge on him, look for Tampa Bay to come up a winner here.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays -190

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

We’ve seen plenty of runs in the first two games of this series as the teams have combined for 31 on the board. It’s hard to see that kind of offensive bonanza carrying over here as Snell has a sub-two ERA on the year, which leads the American League. Borucki has been no slouch either as he has pitched well since coming up to the big leagues in midseason. He threw his best outing in his last start against the Orioles. Can he match zeroes with Snell to give Toronto a shot at winning the series finale?

The under is 4-0 in Snell’s last 4 road starts vs. a team with a losing record, 9-1-1 in his last 11 on the road, 7-1 in his last eight starts on four days of rest, 5-1 in his last six starts in the fourth game of a series and 9-2-1 in his last 12 starts overall. Toronto has seen the under go 4-1 in the fourth game of their last five series and 5-1 in Borucki’s six starts at home. The teams have stayed under the total in seven of their last 10 meetings. While the first two games in the series have gone over the number, you have to think that this one will be a lower scoring affair that falls short.

Prediction: Under 8

Full-Game Prop Bet
Rating:

The Rays took a hit Saturday with their 5-2 defeat that may have spelled the end of their faint playoff hopes. With that in mind, you can’t expect Borucki to put together a complete shutdown of the Tampa Bay lineup. The Rays have backed Snell in the second half of the season, which is a major reason that he’s won eight straight starts. Tampa Bay, even with their playoff hopes on life support, should go over the number here.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays Over 4.5 -130

First Five Innings Side Pick
Rating:

Tampa Bay has the advantage on the mound by a wide margin given that Snell is on the hill. He has tied David Price for the team record for victories in a season with his 20. Borucki has been good for the Blue Jays as a rookie but the fact remains that he is young and inexperienced. Toronto will battle but Snell has handcuffed opposing hitters all season long. This one should stay in favor of the Rays.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays -200

First Five Innings Total Bet
Rating:

Tampa Bay should be able to get some runs on the board in this one. The question will be whether the Blue Jays can put anything on the board against Snell given the way he’s pitched all season long. The Rays have been a decent offensive unit that seems to perform better when he’s on the mound. Tampa Bay does enough to help push this one over the number after five innings.

Prediction: Over 4 -120

Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.

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