Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays
The Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays meet on Saturday for game two of their series at Tropicana Field. The Rays are -140 favorites over the Blue Jays with an over/under total set at 7.5.
The Tampa Bay Rays let another opportunity get away from them on Friday as with the Red Sox rained out in New York they had a chance to gain a half of a game on Boston but instead they fell to two and a half games back in the A.L. Wild Card standings. Matt Joyce had two hits and an RBI, Casey Kotchman had a hit, and Johnny Damon scored a run as the Rays scored just once on only three hits on the night. On the mound David Price allowed five hits and five runs, just two of them earned while striking out seven over six innings of work to take his 13th loss of the year. For Saturday’s must win game Tampa Bay starts Jeff Niemann who has won his last two starts. For the season Niemann has allowed 129 hits and 59 earned runs while striking out 105 over 134.1 innings of work.
The Toronto Blue Jays are reduced the role of spoilers as they are the only team in baseball with a winning record who are in fourth place in their division. On Friday Kelly Johnson had two hits and J.P. Arencibia had two hits while Eric Thames and Mike McCoy each had a hit as the Blue Jays scored five runs on six hits for the night. Starter Brandon Morrow allowed just two hits through seven innings while striking out nine to earn his 11th win of the year. For Saturday’s game Toronto starts Ricky Romero who has won his last two decisions and who has had a huge second half of the season. For the season Romero has allowed 170 hits and 72 earned runs while striking out 173 over 217.1 innings of work.
Tampa Bay is 502 in their last seven games as a home favorite, 1-5 in their last six games overall, and 7-2 in Niemann’s last 10 starts. Toronto is 5-1 in their last six games against the A.L. East, 6-2 in their last eight games as an underdog, and 4-1 in Romero’s last five road starts. Toronto is 10-27 in their last 37 games at Tampa Bay.
We have two strong arms here and I don’t expect much scoring in what amounts to being a playoff game for the Rays. Take the under 7.5 runs here.