by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Blue Jays’ restoration project, lefthander Steven Matz, could be an X-factor in whether the team’s modestly positive moneyline trend supersedes their historic issues at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field. The Blue Jays are +135 underdogs and the Tampa Bay Rays are -155 home favorites with a 7.0-run total on the MLB odds for Friday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Toronto is 6-14 in its last 20 games against Tampa Bay and the total has gone OVER in five of the last seven matchups in that sample at online betting sites. The Blue Jays, dating to early 2019, are 11-10 over their last 21 games as an away underdog of +120 to +150, with the total going UNDER in 12 of those matchups. The Rays are 15-9 in their last 24 games as a home favorite of -130 to -170, with the total going UNDER 13 times with one push.
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Blue Jays vs Rays | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Blue Jays are 8-10, and have been overly dependent on first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to carry an offense that is scoring only 4.11 runs per game with a .670 OPS, which ranks 24th of the 30 MLB teams. Toronto’s pitching has the fifth-best team earned-run average, 3.14, built on the back of a second-ranked 2.30 bullpen ERA.
The Rays are 10-9, and leftfielder Austin Meadows is leading an attack that is averaging 4.95 runs per game with a .716 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), which ranks 12th in MLB. The Rays pitching staff is an uncharacteristic 21st in team ERA at 4.60 – including a 25th-ranked 5.40 bullpen ERA.
Matz (3-0, 1.47 ERA, 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings) will start for Toronto in Friday’s matchup opposite Tampa Bay righthander Tyler Glasnow (2-0, 0.73 ERA, 13.1 SO/9). Matz has been a nice addition for Toronto, although his teams are 2-8  in his last 10 away-underdog starts with the total going UNDER five times with two pushes. Matz has a 2.45 ERA in 7.1 career innings against the Rays, all with the New York Mets. The Rays are 13-3 in Glasnow’s last 16 starts when the team was favored at home, with the OVER hitting eight times with three pushes.
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Lefthander Robbie Ray (0-1, 1.80 ERA, 5.4 SO/9) will start on Saturday, while lefty Ryan Yarbrough (1-2, 5.40 ERA, 6.2  SO/9) could be Tampa Bay’s ‘bulk pitcher.’ Ray issued six bases on balls in his last start at Kansas City on Sunday, so his control and efficiency could be an issue. He has a 4.50 ERA against Tampa Bay in 10 career innings, while his teams are 5-7 in his last 12 road starts with the OVER hitting just four times. Yarbrough has been tough on Toronto, going 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 51.1 career innings. However, the Rays are just 4-7 in his last 11 home starts, with a 5-5-1 split in the totals.
Sunday, lefthander Hyun Jin Ryu (1-2, 3.00 ERA, 7.9 SO/9) will start for the Blue Jays, while Rays rookie lefty Josh Fleming (1-1, 0.87 ERA, 4.4 SO/9) could potentially be available to pitch on five days’ rest. Ryu’s fastball velocity dipped during his last start on April 20 against the Boston Red Sox. The Blue Jays are 2-5 in Ryu’s last seven away starts, with the total finishing UNDER six times. Ryu has a 5.56 ERA in 11.1 career innings against Tampa Bay (including playoffs). The total has gone UNDER in five of the last seven starts by Fleming, who only faced Toronto once in 2020.
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The Blue Jays will remain in South Florida for their next two series, hosting the Washington Nationals (April 27-28) and Atlanta Braves (April 30-May 2) at their temporary Dunedin home.
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