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baseball | Thursday, September 15, 2022 1:26 PM

Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline Best Bet: Jays Outlast Rays at Rogers

Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline Best Bet: Jays Outlast Rays at Rogers
Contributor: The Canadian Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline Best Bet: Thursday, September 15th

The Tampa Bay Rays are fighting for a series split with the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday evening. Toronto has a one-game advantage in the loss column and is narrowly favoured for this contest. Both teams have played strong baseball in the second half, with the Jays 31-19 to Tampa Bay’s 29-22. The season series is split at 7-7, but the Rays have been a poor road team in 2022, going 32-39 away from Tropicana Field.

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Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays Preview

Thu, Sep 15. 20:07 (UK time)

Two Cy Young candidates are getting the ball for the final matchup of this series. Shane McClanahan of the Rays has been sensational this year, but there’s some uncertainty heading into this one as he returns from the injured list. McClanahan ranks among the elite whichever metrics you choose – his 2.55 xERA places in the 94th percentile, he is limiting hard contact, and he is striking out an absolute tonne.

On the other side of this matchup, though, Kevin Gausman is posting his own gaudy numbers. The former Giant is exhibiting better control than ever before. His walk rate is below 4%, plus he is striking out over 28% of hitters and keeping the ball in the park. Gausman’s 3.49 xERA is a long way off McClanahan but he is the king of FIP in 2022. Five runs against the Rangers last time out will likely prove to be no more than a blip.

Relative uncertainty with McClanahan returning from injury closes the gap between the two starters.

The offences are both among the best in the Majors. Toronto has the bigger names, yet their 110 wRC+ places just behind the Rays’ 112 mark over the last month. Tampa Bay’s approach is more reliant on contact, which could be problematic against Gausman, while the Jays excel at forcing walks. Neither line up strikes out a great deal (both are in the bottom 10 in strikeout rate since August 15th), which poses an intriguing situation against two of the league’s highest strikeout arms.


Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays Best Bet

Both bullpens have been exceptional over the last month. Toronto has the slight advantage by relief ERA, yet the Rays are still eighth in the bigs over that spell.

As their season-long records illustrate, there isn’t much to choose between these teams. Tampa Bay’s poor road performances and McClanahan’s return is enough to make the home team the better value here. Toronto is also playing the superior baseball of late, with 11 wins from 14 September games.

  • Selection: Toronto Blue Jays Moneyline
  • Best Odds: 1.74 (Marathon)
  • Stakes: 4/10

Odds as at 3:00 pm, September, 15th, 2022. Odds may now differ.


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