MLB Pick on Rays to Complete Road Sweep of Blue Jays in Toronto

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 6:30 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 18, 2016 6:30 PM UTC

The Rays are attempting to sweep the defending American League East Champion Blue Jays on the road in Canada, and they just might be the MLB pick to do so behind Jake Odorizzi.


MLB Record: 23-22-1, +4.32

The road team could complete a three-game sweep of the defending American League East Champions north of the border Wednesday night when Jake Odorizzi and those Tampa Bay Rays (18-19, 8-8 away) again pay a visit to fellow right-hander R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays (19-22, 9-12 home) for the series finale from Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:07 ET in a game available on Sun Sports.

The posted money line at Heritage Sports has Tampa Bay as a moderate road underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +115.


Not the Same Toronto Offense
You may recall that the Blue Jays bludgeoned their opponents last season en route to taking the eventual World Champion Kansas City Royals to six games in the ALCS, putting up some of the best offensive numbers ever. However, that offense cannot get going this year despite a very similar lineup, as Toronto is a disappointing 24th in the Major Leagues in batting at .236, 22nd in runs scored at 4.02 per game and 20th in OPS at .711, resulting in the 19-22 mark.

Thus, at 18-19, a Rays’ team that many experts predicted would finish last in the American League East this year is actually two games ahead of the fourth place Blue Jays while in third place and a manageable five games out of first. Tampa Bay was also a very authoritative winning MLB pick in the first two games of this series, triumphing by amazing scores of 13-2 and 12-2!


Odorizzi Has Handled Blue Jays
That kind of onslaught may not continue tonight, but we do like the underrated Odorizzi to help the Rays complete the sweep just the same. Odorizzi is looking for redemption after getting touched up for five earned runs on seven hits while lasting just four innings in a loss to the Oakland Athletics last Friday, but he entered that contest with a 3.10 ERA through his first six starts, and despite him still being winless at 0-2, we like his chances of bouncing back strong.

Of course, it is easy to be confident that Odorizzi could break through with a win tonight considering that he has already faced the Blue Jays twice this season and held them to a total of two earned runs and just six hits in 12.2 innings with 16 strikeouts! It is a shame that he received no run support while taking two no-decisions in those starts, but perhaps that is ready to change now with the Tampa Bay offense suddenly on fire.

Furthermore, Odorizzi still has a nice ratio of 36 strikeouts vs. nine walks in 44.2 innings this year, which is a positive sign for things to come.

Erratic Dickey
Granted, Dickey enters this start with a 1.27 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over his last three starts following a bad outing here are home vs. the White Sox April 26th, but consistency has been an issue for him as we have seen more of the “bad” Dickey than the “good” Dickey overall this year, resulting in his 2-4 record and 4.31 ERA. One major issue has been a steady drop in command for Dickey since his Cy Young Award season with the New York Mets in 2012.

That has come to the forefront this year with the knuckleballer have a weak ratio of 6.38 strikeouts vs. 3.00 walks per nine innings, helping lead to a 4.05 FIP and 4.34 xFIP that both indicate the ERA is not merely a blip. Therefore do not read too much into those great last three starts as things could go badly for Dickey quite suddenly as they have done in the past.

Now he must deal with an improving Tampa Bay offense that is averaging 5.80 runs per game over the last 10 contests.


Beating Teams They are Supposed to Beat
Finally, the Rays have been taking advantage of sub-.500 teams going 6-0 in their last six road games vs. teams with losing records. The Rays are also now 5-2 in their last seven head-to-head meetings with the Blue Jays as well as 7-3 in Odorizzi’s last 10 starts vs. teams with losing records, while Toronto is 1-6 in Dickey’s last seven starts overall.

We expect those trends to continue tonight given how the first two games of this series have gone, giving Tampa Bay good underdog value as it looks to complete the three-game road sweep of Toronto up in Canada on Wednesday.


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Free MLB Pick: Rays +115
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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