by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The moneyline history is not favourable for the Toronto Blue Jays as they take on baseball’s hottest team and a pitcher who seems to have their number. The Blue Jays are +142 away underdogs against the -164 favourite Tampa Bay Rays with an 8.5-run total on the MLB odds for Friday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Since May 2018, the Blue Jays are 5-13 as an away underdog against the Rays, with an 8-8-2 OVER/UNDER split. Moneyline-wise, the Blue Jays are 4-16 in their last 20 away games as an underdog of +135 or more, with the total finishing UNDER 12 times. The Rays are 14-6 in their last 20 home games at Tropicana Field where they were favoured at -140 or deeper into minus money, with the total finishing OVER 10 times at online sports betting sites.
The Blue Jays are on a five-win streak after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies twice on Thursday. The streak has been a credit to their relief pitching, which has covered 31.2 innings over the last five days due to struggling starters and a pair of doubleheaders. Led by centerfielder Randal Grichuk, Toronto’s offence is a bit peaks-and-valleys as it ranks 22nd out of 30 MLB teams in on-base percentage (.314), but sixth in slugging percentage (.450). That has worked out to scoring 4.6 runs per game. The Rays are fifth in OBP (.339) and eighth in slugging (.443) and average 5.4 runs per game.
Righthander Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 5.23 ERA, 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings) is slated to start for the Blue Jays on Friday opposite Rays lefthander Ryan Yarbrough (0-2, 4.13 ERA, 5.6 SO/9). Shoemaker, who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes while pitching against the Rays on Sunday, has a 3.60 ERA in two starts against Tampa Bay this season and has held their hitters to a .537 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging). The total has gone UNDER 12 of his last 20 starts when his team was an away underdog.
Yarbrough has a 2.00 ERA in 11 career games (45 innings) against the Blue Jays and has held their hitters to a .594 OPS, his best against any opponent that he’s faced at least three times.
Teams have been especially cautious with pitching plans so far in the pandemic-delayed shortened season. Neither the Blue Jays nor Rays have a starting pitcher listed at MLB.com for the matchups on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 3.46 ERA, 9.3 SO/9) has followed Shoemaker in the Blue Jays’ rotation, and the total has gone UNDER in 10 of his last 14 starts when his team was an away underdog. Rays righthander Yonny Chirinos (0-0, 2.38 ERA, 7.9 SO/9), who has been following Yarbrough, has had the total go UNDER in four of his last six starts as a home favourite.
Following this series, the Blue Jays have a seven-game homestand against the Boston Red Sox (August 25-27) and Baltimore Orioles (August 28-31).