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We discuss if runs will keep flowing in our Blue Jays vs. Rays picks
Whit Merrifield #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays scores a run as Francisco Mejia #21 of the Tampa Bay Rays fields the throw in the fourth inning during a game on May 22. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays wrap up a four-game series with a matinee affair Thursday. Who has the edge in the AL East matchup? Find out where we lean in our Blue Jays vs. Rays picks based on the best MLB odds.

The rival Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays have split their first six matchups of the season, but the Rays have taken two of three in the current series in Tampa.

There have been runs aplenty, with at least 10 scored in each game. But Jays ace Alek Manoah opposes the Rays' Zach Eflin and his 6-1 record on Thursday. Toronto is giving star outfielder George Springer a day off while catcher Danny Jansen underwent an MRI Thursday morning.

Here is our best Blue Jays vs. Rays pick (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Blue Jays vs. Rays pick

Zach Eflin Over 4.5 strikeouts (-139 via BetRivers) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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We're taking the heavy juice on the Over for Eflin's strikeout prop with our MLB best bets on Thursday. The Over/Under is set at a shallow 4.5 Ks for a pitcher that has been racking up the strikeouts of late and has a strong history against current Blue Jays batters.

Eflin has recorded at least five strikeouts in all but two of his starts this season. He's coming off an eight-strikeout performance against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday and a nine-strikeout outing against the New York Yankees on May 14. He has 31 Ks in four outings this month.

The 29-year-old is averaging 9.96 Ks per nine innings and is posting a 28.4% strikeout rate, which would be the second-best mark of his eight-year career.

Eflin also has had a great deal of success against the Blue Jays lineup despite the small sample size. He has seven Ks of veteran infielder Brandon Belt in 12 at-bats and two of Jays shortstop Bo Bichette in just four career ABs. The Jays' Vladimir Guerrero, Matt Chapman, Kevin Kiermaier, and Alejandro Kirk all have yet to record a hit against Eflin, in limited at-bats.

Taj Bradley and Shane McClanahan each recorded seven strikeouts against the Jays in the last two contests.

Blue Jays vs. Rays best odds

BetRivers (-139)

Eflin Over 4.5 strikeoutsEflin Over 4.5 strikeoutsEflin Over 4.5 strikeoutsEflin Over 4.5 strikeoutsEflin Over 4.5 strikeouts

Bettors will have to pay up to add Eflin Over 4.5 strikeouts to their MLB picks portfolio Thursday, but BetRivers is offering the least amount of juice. The odds are as low as -160 at FanDuel and PointsBet.

Considering Eflin has been averaging 80 pitchers per outing and has typically gone six or seven innings per start, we wouldn't play this prop any higher than the 4.5 strikeouts.

We're also targeting a Manoah pitcher prop in our MLB Best Bets for Thursday.

Blue Jays vs. Rays odds

Check out our World Series odds.

Blue Jays vs. Rays odds analysis

The Rays opened as -135 favorites on the moneyline, but the odds have ballooned to -150 at some of our best sports betting apps and even -155 at BetMGM. The Rays are drawing 68% of the wagers.

The total is set at 8.5 runs and the Over is getting 66% of the action as of noon ET.

Blue Jays vs. Rays game info

  • Date: Thursday, May 25, 1:10 p.m. ET
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun, Sportsnet, MLB Network
  • Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Weather: Indoors

Blue Jays-Rays pick made 5/25/2023 at 10:32 a.m. ET.

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