MLB Picks: Blue Jays vs. Rays Odds & Preview

Joe Freda

Monday, June 24, 2013 12:16 PM GMT

Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 12:16 PM GMT

The Toronto Blue Jays have won 11 straight games, outscoring their rivals by a sizable 70-27 margin. Let's look at the betting odds and evaluate the pitching match-up and offenses.

Monday’s MLB betting has John Gibbons’ club opening a three-game road set against the Tampa Bay Rays, with Toronto’s Esmil Rogers (3-2, 3.14 ERA) facing Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, 5.50 ERA) in a duel of righties.

Jays stay hot, Rays return home

Toronto’s surge continued with this past weekend’s home sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, topped by jumping out to a 9-0 lead in Sunday’s 13-5 victory. The same afternoon saw Tampa Bay end its seven-game road trip with a 3-1 win over the New York Yankees, bringing in two late runs to prevail as a 105 underdog. 

Toronto has gone 4-3 in its seven meetings with the Rays this year, while the OVER has cashed at a 5-2 clip. Hellickson has come out on the losing end twice in two starts for Tampa Bay, with the Blue Jays pulling out a pair of one-run wins. 

Rogers stingy at home 

Rogers notched his second straight win with Tuesday’s 8-3 victory for Toronto over the Colorado Rockies, collecting as 152 home ‘chalk.’ The Dominican Republic native held the Rockies to two earned runs on four hits, lasting 6 2/3 innings. 

Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia each cracked one homer, uniting for five RBIs. Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot, with him and his mates finishing with 11 hits. 

Hellickson goes six for win 

Hellickson picked up his third win in four starts with Wednesday’s 6-2 triumph for Tampa Bay as a 120 road dog against the Boston Red Sox. The 26-year-old allowed two runs over six innings, giving up seven hits. 

Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist drove in Jose Molina to give their club a 3-2 lead, followed by Evan Longoria and Wil Myers piling on three insurance RBIs. Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings drilled his ninth homer of the year, while the Rays edged Boston in hits, 15-7. 

Back the OVER in Tampa Bay 

Hellickson opened as a 117 home favorite at Bet365, while the shop first listed the ‘total’ at 8 ½ (UNDER minus 120). Sports books William Hill and Ladbrokes followed suit, posting nearly the same MLB odds

I am backing the OVER in this spot, feeling a ‘total’ wager has more value than backing a side. 

Hellickson has been inconsistent in his seven home starts, allowing a 1.24 WHIP. The latest four affairs saw the righty give up 19 earned runs over 23 2/3 IP, with the OVER cashing at 3-1.

Toronto’s Jose Bautista has two homers in a 7-for-15 career mark facing Hellickson, while mates Melky Cabrera and Adam Lind have hit 9-for-23. The OVER is 4-0 in the Blue Jays’ last four road games in Tampa Bay, including last month’s 8-7 victory with Hellickson on the hill.

Rogers has given up a sizable 1.46 WHIP and .360 OBP on the road as both a starts and reliever. Tampa Bay has hit .250 at home against right-handed pitching, while the OVER is 12-3-2 in the Rays’ last 17 home dates against a righty starter.

MLB Pick: OVER 8 ½ at Bet365

[gameodds]3/237119/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Be sure to head over and check out our MLB betting Lines Report for Monday to stay a step ahead~

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