MLB Picks: Rays To Hold Advantage On The Mound Against Blue Jays

Ross Benjamin

Monday, April 4, 2016 4:09 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 4, 2016 4:09 PM UTC

Our analyst breaks down Monday’s matchup between Blue Jays and Rays. Don’t make an MLB pick on this game without first reading this insightful betting preview article.

Toronto (Dickey) vs. Tampa Bay (Smyly)
Toronto and Tampa Bay will square off on Monday for their second of a four game series. The opening pitch at Tropicana Field in St, Petersburg, Florida is slated for 7:10 PM ET. Toronto was a 5-3 winner on Sunday in what was the season opener for both teams. Since the onset of the 2013 season, these teams have played each other on relatively even terms. Toronto is 21-18 versus Tampa Bay during that time period, and the clubs have split the 20 games played at Tropicana Field. Current MLB odds boards have Tampa Bay as a -111 money line favorite, and the posted total is 8.0.

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Starting Pitchers
Toronto will send 41 year old knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey to the mound on Monday. Dickey went 11-11 in 33 starts last season, and had a respectable 3.91 ERA. Dickey was 1-1 during four spring training game starts while posting an unimpressive 5.02 ERA. He did display very good control in those four outings by walking just 2 in 14 1/3 inning pitched.

Dickey struggled on the road last season, going 2-8 in 16 starts with a lofty 4.83 ERA. Dickey was 1-3 during five starts against Tampa Bay in 2015, posting a 4.40 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. The veteran hurler was 0-3 in five starts last April with a less than stellar 5.23 ERA.

Tampa Bay will go with southpaw Drew Smyly on Monday. Smyly was 5-2 during 12 starts last season, and compiled a very good 3.11 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. The 26 year old former Detroit Tiger struck out 77 in 66 2/3 innings pitched, and that translates to a stellar 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings of work. Smyly was 3-1 during five spring training game starts, displaying an outstanding 2.70 ERA, and 0.65 WHIP.

He allowed just 10 hits in 20.0 innings pitched. The Rays hurler made two career starts versus Toronto with both coming since 2014, and had an excellent 1.32 ERA in addition to a microscopic 0.49 WHIP.


Final Thought and Pick
Based on how both of these pitchers looked in spring training, and how R.A. Dickey struggled on the road last season, I’ll have to lean toward the home team for one of my Monday MLB picks.

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Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -110
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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