One of the hottest teams in baseball will look to continue their recent rum tonight in the Sunshine State as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the first of two midweek games at Tropicana Field.
Since firing manage Charlie Montoyo last month, Toronto has won 11 of 14 games, including seven of nine since the All-Star break. As a result, they enter today at the top of American League wild-card standings, four games clear of the Cleveland Guardians, who are the first team on the outside looking in.
Their AL East rivals are heading in the opposite direction, having lost seven of their last nine games since opening the second half with a win.
They still occupy one of the AL’s three wild-card spots, with the Seattle Mariners in the other spot, but with the Guardians, Orioles, Red Sox, and White Sox all within at least three games, they can ill-afford to continue this slide for long.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays Matchup Information and Betting Odds
- Matchup: Toronto Blue Jays (57-45, 23-24 away, 2nd in the AL East) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (54-48, 32-20 home, 3rd in the AL East)
- Venue & Location: Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, Florida)
- Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2022
- Game Time: 7:10 p.m. Eastern Time
- Blue Jays vs. Rays TV Info: MLB Network
Blue Jays vs. Rays Pitching Matchup
- Toronto Blue Jays: Kevin Gausman (2022: 19 starts, 7-8, 3.30 ERA)
- Tampa Bay Rays: Drew Rasmussen (2022: 17 starts, 6-3, 3.17 ERA)
Blue Jays vs. Rays Odds
Game odds are via FanDuel. Odds from other reputable legal online sportsbooks that we have reviewed may also be featured in this article.
- Toronto Blue Jays -136
- Tampa Bay Rays +116
- Over 7 (-122)
- Under 7 (+100)
- Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+134)
- Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (-162)
Away Numbers Encouraging for Gausman Despite Lack of Recent Wins
Early on this season, it looked like Gausman would be in the AL Cy Young Award mix this season. His numbers, and Toronto’s won-loss record in his starts reflected that.
Through his first ten starts, he was 5-3 with a 2.51 ERA, and the Blue Jays were 7-3 in those starts.
But since then, he is 2-5 with a 4.43 ERA in nine starts, and Toronto has won only twice in those nine starts.
Season Splits for Kevin Gausman
- First Ten Starts: 5-3, 2.51 ERA, 61 IP, 59 H, 19 R (17 ER), 2 HR, 6 BB, 70 K
- Last Nine Starts: 2-5, 4.43 ERA, 42.2 IP, 59 H, 26 R (21 ER), 4 HR, 13 BB, 52 K
But there are some encouraging things from his road starts that could bode well for Gausman and Toronto tonight.
In eight road starts, Gausman is 4-3 with a 2.34 ERA. His only non-quality start on the road came in his most recent road outing, when he allowed three runs in five innings against the Red Sox on July 22.
Fortunately, in that outing, he had more than enough run support, as the Blue Jays blasted the Red Sox 28-5 that night.
Those Fenway fireworks aside, run support was a major issue for Gausman last month. In his other three starts, Toronto scored just four total runs.
In their current 12-3 run, Toronto has scored at least four runs in each win. Gausman starts in Toronto account for two of the three losses–a 3-1 loss to the Royals and a 6-1 loss to the Cardinals–but things line up well for him to get better support tonight.
In Rasmussen’s first eight starts this season, no opponent scored more than three runs. But in his last nine starts, the opposition has scored 4+ runs seven times.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction & Picks
Blue Jays vs. Rays Prediction: Blue Jays to win
Blue Jays vs. Rays Pick: Blue Jays ML (Best Value: -136 at FanDuel) & team total over 4 runs (Best Value: +100 at FanDuel & Caesars Sportsbook)
When these teams last met, which was in Toronto at the end of June and beginning of July, the Rays kickstarted the slide that would spell the end of manager Charlie Montoyo’s tenure with the Jays.
Now, they are going in opposite directions, with Toronto flying high and Tampa Bay yet to win a series in the second half.
Gausman has had some tough luck recently, but tonight should see him return to the .500 mark and pick up a much-needed win.
Rasmussen is indeed 3-0 with a 2.09 ERA in seven home starts, and the Rays have won six of his seven home starts. But with where things are form-wise right now, it’s hard to trust that success to continue tonight.
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