Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4917 Toronto Blue Jays vs.
#4918 Tampa Bay Rays
Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 6:10pm EDT
Written by Mason Folz

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This Saturday, the (84-66) Toronto Blue Jays and the (83-67) Tampa Bay Rays will play game three of this four-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 6:10 PM EST inside Tropicana Field. The last time these two teams matched up, the Blue Jays ended up winning their five-game series. The Rays got the first win of this series, though.

The Toronto Blue Jays are coming into this one after splitting a two-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Blue Jays looked incredible at the plate in game one, as they scored 18 runs. They will need their bats to stay hot in this one if they want to take down the Rays on the road.

The Tampa Bay Rays are entering this one after getting swept by the Houston Astros in their previous series. They only scored two combined runs in three games, as they just couldn't get their bats going. They will have to heat up at the plate if they want to defend Tropicana Field in this one.

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Can Toronto Heat Up?

The Toronto Blue Jays currently hold the first AL Wild Card spot, but they haven't been untouchable over the past few weeks. They are 5-5 in their last 10 and they still trail the New York Yankees by 7.5 games in the AL East standings.

At the plate, the Blue Jays are scoring 4.80 runs per game and they are hitting .262 as a team. This is the fifth most runs scored per game and the highest overall team batting average. They have been consistently reaching base all season and they have also been clutch with men in scoring position. Toronto has multiple players that can change this game with one swing of the bat, as well. They are averaging 1.23 home runs per game, which is the 10th most in the league. I would recommend watching Vladimir Guerrero Jr., as he leads the team with 30 home runs hit this season. I would also expect the Blue Jays to stay conservative once they have reached base safely. They have only taken 63 bases this season, which is the 21st most in the MLB. They have allowed their bats to move base runners into scoring position.

According to MLB.com, the Blue Jays will be starting Alek Manoah on the mound. He is currently 14-7 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 6.0 innings and he gave up one earned run to the Orioles. He has also been a road warrior this season, as he is 8-3 with a 2.23 ERA outside of his home ballpark. The Blue Jay's bullpen is also allowing the 15th most runs per game. As a team, Toronto is allowing 4.32 runs per game, which is the 15th most, as well.

Can the Rays Hold On?

The Tampa Bay Rays are currently 4-6 in their last 10, as their poor play hasn't allowed them to inch any closer to the Blue Jays in the AL Wild Card race. They are still a game back. The Rays are also still in third place in the AL East, as they trail the first-place New York Yankees by 8.5 games. They will need to focus on remaining a Wild Card team.

At the plate, the Rays are scoring 4.25 runs per game and hitting .242 as a team. This is the 19th most runs scored per game and the 15th highest overall team batting average. They have shown that they can consistently reach base, but they don't have a ton of power inside of their lineup and they have stranded men in scoring position all season. Tampa Bay is averaging .89 home runs per game, which is the 25th highest average in the league. I would recommend watching Isaac Paredes, as he leads the team with 20 home runs. I would expect the Rays to stay aggressive once they have reached base safely, though. They have already swiped 89 bases this season, which is the 10th most in the league. They will do whatever they can to push base runners into scoring position.

According to MLB.com, the Rays will be starting Drew Rasmussen on the mound. He is currently 10-6 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. The last time he was on the mound he pitched for 6.0 innings, but he gave up four earned runs to the Astros. He has been great at home this season, though. He is currently 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA inside Tropicana Field. The Rays' bullpen is also allowing 3.28 runs per game. As a team, Tampa is surrendering 3.81 runs per game, which is the seventh least in the league.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will be hammering the Blue Jays money line, as I see Alex Manoah coming into this game ready to dominate. He has been incredible on the road this season and I just don't see the Rays scoring enough runs to keep this game competitive. They are currently scoring the 19th most runs per game and they have very little power inside of their lineup. They will be forced to string together multiple hits to score and that just isn't going to happen against Manoah. He has a 2.40 ERA and he looked great in his last start. He will come into this game with confidence and give his team a great chance of winning. Now, the Blue Jays will also struggle at the dish, but I see them scoring just enough runs to get the job done in this one. Drew Rasmussen has been a beast at home, but the Blue Jays are scoring the fifth most runs and they have the highest team batting average. They will consistently make contact with the ball and eventually score a few runs. They aren't going to need to explode on the scoreboard to win, as Alex Manoah will hold the Rays for the majority of this game. They were horrible at the plate against the Astros and I see that trend continuing in this one.

Hammer the Blue Jays ML and trust Alex Manoah in this one.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays -105

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will be taking the under (6) runs in this matchup. I understand that this total is extremely low, but both of the starting pitchers on the mound have been great this season. I see both of them coming into this game and making it very difficult for their opponents to score. The Blue Jays will be starting Alex Manoah on the mound, as he is 8-3 on the road this season with a 2.23 ERA. His ERA drops when he is on the road, as he has been a road warrior all season. The Rays are also scoring the 19th most runs per game, as they have struggled at the dish over their last few series. That trend will continue in this one and their team total will remain extremely low. Now, I also see the Blue Jays struggling at the plate at different times in this game. They will be facing Drew Rasmussen on the mound, as he has been a beast at home this season. He is 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA inside Tropicana Field, as I see him showing up in this one. He will keep the Blue Jays off the scoreboard for the first few innings of this game, as they won't be able to push this total over the number either. Both of these starting pitchers will be the story in this one.

Hammer the under (6) runs and trust each team's starting pitcher.

Prediction: Under 6
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Written By Mason Folz , "Mason Folz"

Mason graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder and he has been watching SportsCenter since before he could walk. He has been crunching numbers since he could learn to count and nothing makes Mason happier in this world than talking sports, unless he is on the golf course! We are very happy to have added Mason to our team at StatSalt and you will be glad as well. Let's win some money!