MLB Picks: Blue Jays vs. Rays Weekend Coverage

Darin Zank

Friday, September 27, 2013 1:28 PM GMT

What are the MLB odds-makers making up for us for the last games of the regular season? Let's look at the Series finale for our MLB picks.


29 Sept
Sundays Game

By: Ron Patrick


Sunday's Series Finale

Toronto has taken the first two games of this series, putting Tampa on the playoff brink, after Saturday's  7-3 victory.

The Jays won Saturday as +155 underdogs on the MLB betting line, and the game played OVER its total of 7.5. 

So the Rays are tied with Texas for the second American League wild-card spot, with one game to play, heading into Sunday's season finale (1:05 pm ET). 

Sunday's Betting Line 

In the early betting on Sunday's game Tampa and Matt Moore were favored by -150 over Toronto and Todd Redmond, but the Rays quickly got bet up to the -170 MLB odds range. 

Sunday's Pitching Match-Up 

Redmond (4-2, 3.77) is only 4-for-13 on quality starts this season, but two for his last three. Last time out he gave up two runs on two solo homers through 5 2/3 innings against Baltimore, and over his last three starts he's allowed just four ER in 19 innings. 

For the season Redmond has given up fewer hits, 66, than innings pitched, 76, walked 22 and struck out 75. 

Toronto is 7-6 in Redmond's starts this year. 

In his one start this season against Tampa Bay Redmond held them to one run through six innings of a 2-1 Jays loss back on August 18. 

Moore (16-4, 3.23) may flash some good numbers, but by our count he's only 12-for-26 on quality starts this year, and just one for his last six. Last time out he held the Yankees scoreless through five innings, but he walked six; and over his last six starts he's pitched into the seventh inning just once, and given up five runs twice. 

For the season Moore has allowed just 113 hits in 145 innings, although he has walked 73, which is a bit too much. 

Nonetheless, Tampa has won 20 of Moore's 26 starts this season. 

In two starts this year against Toronto Moore has allowed three ER and 10 hits in 11 innings; the Rays won both those games. 

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Our Take on Sunday's Game 

Tampa is down to win-or-else mode, something they should actually be used to, after the last few seasons. And Moore has been tough on Toronto. So we'll go with the Rays for our free pick for today.

Pick: Take Tampa at the -166 offered at bet365


28 Sept
Saturdays Game

By: Ron Patrick


The Jays won as +120 MLB odds underdogs on Friday's MLB betting line, and, to our chagrin, the game played OVER its total of eight when, with two outs in the top of the ninth, the Rays' Kelly Johnson doubled in the last meaningless run. 

With the loss Tampa dropped into a tie for the lead in the American League wild-card race with Cleveland, one game ahead of Texas. 

The Rays can clinch at least a tie for the second AL wild-card spot with a victory in Saturday's Game 2 (1:05 pm ET). 

Saturday's Betting Line 

In the early betting most baseball books were listing Tampa and Chris Archer at around -165 over Toronto and JA Happ, with a total of eight. The Rays could also be gotten at around -110 on the run line.

Saturday's Pitching Match-Up 

Happ (4-7, 4.85), by our tough standards, is just 3-for-17 on quality starts this season, and just one for his last eight. Most recently he gave up three runs in five innings against the White Sox, although over his last four starts, three of which came to less than six innings, he's allowed seven ER through 21 1/3 innings. 

On the season Happ has given up 86 hits in 65 innings, walked 44, which is too many, and struck out 73. 

The Jays are just 5-12 in Happ's starts this year. 

In his two starts this season against Tampa Bay, the first of which ended for him in the second inning when he took a line-drive off his noggin, Happ has allowed six ER and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings; Toronto managed to win both those games. 

Archer (9-7, 3.21) is 12-for-22 on quality starts this year, and two for his last three. Last time out he gave up four runs in four-plus innings against Baltimore, but in his two starts previous to that he held the Twins and Rangers to two runs through 12 innings. 

For the season, which for Archer began in June, he's allowed fewer hits, 102, than innings pitched, 126, and owns a 97/37 K/BB ratio. 

Tampa has won 14 of Archer's 22 starts this year. 

In his two starts this season against Toronto Archer has been tough, giving up just two runs and nine hits through 14 innings; the Rays won both those games. 

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Our Take on Saturday's Game

Archer gets the edge in the pitching match-up, and the Rays would surely love to take care of business instead of having to play a do-or-die affair on Sunday. So we'll go with Tampa for our free pick for Saturday. 

Pick: Take the Rays at the -160 offered at Bet 365.


27 Sept
Friday's Game

By: Ron Patrick


The Tampa Bay Rays have won seven games in a row and are on the verge of clinching a playoff berth. Can they do it here for our MLB picks?

Can the Rays close things out or will the Jays play “pain-in-the-butt?”And how should we bet this series?

Friday's Betting Odds

As of Friday morning most baseball books were chalking Tampa and Jeremy Hellickson at around -120 over Toronto and RA Dickey, with a total of eight runs.

The Rays could also be gotten at around +130 on the run line at various shops.

Rays-Jays Series Set-Up

Tampa just swept three games from the Yankees in New York, winning Thursday 4-0. So at 90-69 the Rays lead the American League wild-card race by a game over Cleveland and two games over Texas.

Any combination of Tampa wins and Texas losses that comes to two gets the Rays into the playoffs.

Toronto, meanwhile, just lost two of three games at Baltimore, falling Thursday 3-2, to finish off a 2-5 road trip. So the Jays, at 72-87, are going to finish last in a division they were favored on the MLB odds boards to win before the season started.

Tampa leads the season series over Toronto 10 games to six, with the totals going 7-9.

Friday's Pitching Match-Up

Dickey (13-13, 4.27), by our strict standards, is 16-for-33 on quality starts this season, and has run a bit hot/cold as of late. Last time out he got nicked for five runs in eight innings by Boston, but just before that he held the Yankees scoreless through seven innings. Just before that, though, the Angels got him for four runs in five-plus innings.

On the season Dickey has allowed fewer hits, 202, than innings pitched, 217, but he's also given up 33 gopher balls, second-most in the Majors.

Toronto has won 16 of Dickey's 33 starts this season.

In five starts already this year against the Rays Dickey has been fairly tough, allowing 12 ER and 22 hits through 36 innings; but the Jays lost three of those five games.

Hellickson (12-9, 5.16) is just 9-for-30 on quality starts this year, and 0 for his last nine. In fact, his most recent appearance came in relief, and he picked up the victory by throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings against Baltimore in a 5-4 Tampa win in 18 innings last Friday.

On the season Hellickson has given up more hits, 179, including 24 homers, than innings pitched, 169, and owns a WHIP of 1.34.

And yet, Tampa has won 17 of Hellickson's 30 starts this year.

Hellickson has obviously struggled this season, but he's had success against Toronto. In five starts this year against the Jays he's allowed 10 ER and 25 hits in 31 innings, and the Rays won three of those five games.

Considering how important this game is to Tampa Hellickson might be on a short leash. He'll  eventually turns things over to a Rays bullpen that ranks l5th with a 3.52 ERA and is 41-for-59 on save opportunities.

Toronto's pen, meanwhile, ranks eighth in ERA at 3.30 and is 38-for-57 on save opps. 

Rays-Jays Betting Trends 

Tampa is 39-39 on the road this season.

Toronto is 38-40 at home this year.

OVER/UNDERS are 37-39 in games played at Rogers Centre this season.

The Jays have played 11 UNDERS in their last 14 games.

Rays-Jays Injury Report

As they've been doing from quite some time already the Blue Jays are playing without both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, who are out for the year with various ailments.

Over in the other dugout Tampa might be without OF Desmond Jennings (14 homers, 20 SB) and/or SS Yunel Escobar (55 RBI, 60 R), who are both questionable for Friday.

Our Take on Friday's Game

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Tampa has everything to play for, Toronto, not so much. Dickey has had a disappointing season, but he's been pretty good against the Rays; Hellickson has been almost terrible this year, but he's been pretty good against the Jays. To be honest, we're not quite sure who's going to win this game, because Hellickson scares us a little. So instead of the side we'll look toward the total for our free pick for Friday, and go with the UNDER.

MLB Pick: Take the UNDER eight runs at the +100 offered at SBR Sportsbook.