FREE MLB Pick Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays (11-3) @ Toronto Blue Jays (4-10)
MLB Baseball: Saturday, April 13th, 2019 @ 1:07 pm EST (Rogers Centre)
Line and Odds: TOR -178 Over/Under 8
The Tampa Bay Rays are red hot and look to continue to build on their early season success Saturday afternoon, in Toronto. They will take on their AL East rivals, the Blue Jays, in the second game of three this weekend. If Game 2 proves to be anything like Friday night’s rollercoaster ending, we are in store for an extremely entertaining April afternoon ballgame.
Friday 4-12 Recap: Two of the MLB’s youngest teams put on a show Friday night. Tampa Bay picked up right where they left off after sweeping the White Sox. Entering the game with the second best record in the MLB, at 10-3. DH Austin Meadows got things rolling with an early homer to right field in the first inning, adding to their streak of first inning batting dominance this season. In which they lead the league in scoring to open the game. It was all Tampa Bay going forward; including four runs in the third inning, sparked by a couple of 436 feet home-runs from second basemen Brandon Lowe and again from Austin Meadows.
Tampa Bay went on to take an 8-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Just when all of Canada was ready to put the kids to bed and focus on their Raptors and Leafs playoff matchups tomorrow the Blue Jays dugout somehow orchestrated the best seventh-inning stretch of the season thus far. Entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Blue Jays were hitless. However, they were finally able to break through and get a couple of runs on the board. The score was then 8-2 and the over-bettors could go to sleep peacefully, but Toronto wasn’t quite finished. In the blink of an eye, Rays’ reliever Yonny Chirinos, allowed six runs in the seventh.
The Rays were able to squeak out of the inning holding onto a two-run lead following a controversial out call at third base after Toronto’s, Freddy Galvis, appeared to beat the tag after the review. Toronto wouldn’t stop there. The Blue Jays were able to score again in the eight inning and put themselves into position to steal the game with the bases loaded and a 3-0 count against Rays’ pitcher Diego Castillo. Castillo was again able to salvage the inning after throwing a surprising three straight breaking balls to strike out Luke Maile without a swing.
Following the Blue Jay’s two best innings of the season, the Tampa Bay bats proved to be too much for the birds and went on to score three more in the top of the ninth to secure an 11-7 Tampa Bay win. The Rays finished with 5 home-runs, 16 hits, and 11 RBIs. Pitcher Ryan Yarbrough was awarded his 2nd win of the season.
Saturday 4-13 Breakdown: The Toronto Blue Jays are now 4-10 and struggling. They are ranked 21st or higher in each of the following team stats: runs, hits, walks, Ks, batting, and fielding. The only bright spot for the Blue Jays so far is their 6th ranked team pitching (2.88 ERA). They’re the second youngest team in the MLB and look to be committing to the development of their youth this season. They are getting some help from a familiar face in the AL East, 34-year-old veteran pitcher Clay Buchholz, who is making his first start since September during his 2018 stint with the Diamondbacks, where he finished 7-2.
Buchholz joined the Blue Jays late in free agency after pitching in only 16 big league games in the past two seasons due to a lingering elbow injury. They will lean on the former Red Sox 2x All-Star and World Series Champion this season as he seeks a healthy and productive season. Buchholz debuts for Toronto following a shaky rehab stint in Triple-A.
The Tampa Bay Rays are also a very young team. They rank fourth youngest in the MLB. However, they seem to be clicking on all cylinders to begin the season. Friday’s win improved their winning streak to five in a row. The Rays were very much overlooked last season after finishing with 90 wins. Unfortunately for them, two of the three clubs to hit the 100-win mark happened to be in the AL East. Tampa Bay claims the best record in the MLB dating back to August 1st of last season and shows no signs of slowing down. Ranking number one in team pitching (1.98 ERA) and second in fielding.
While New York is dealing with various injuries and Boston seems to be fighting a World Series hangover, Tampa has the opportunity to separate themselves early in the division standings and create a bit of breathing room, which could be vital for their young core going forward. In just his second year, DH Austin Meadows is setting himself up for a breakout season. In the 23-year-old’s past three games he has managed to bat 10/15 with 4 HRs and 6 extra bases. Saturday, the Rays will feature fourth year pitcher, Blake Snell (2-1), who looks to improve on a solid 34-21 career record, in Toronto.
Tampa Bay Rays
8-2 as Favorites
Toronto Blue Jays
1-6 as Dog
FREE MLB Pick Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays
As you might be able to tell from my Friday recap section I was able to sit down and actually watch the game from start to finish. Through the first inning this year the Rays are first in: runs, batting average, on base %, and slugging %. Buchholz gave up 5 runs in 5 innings last week in the minors. I see the Rays getting up early, but it would be very hard to imagine the bats stay as hot as they were last night without much rest. As far as it goes for Toronto they were able to score 6 runs on Chirinos in one inning and only one the remainder of the game. Rays win 3-1.
PICK: TAMPA BAY -178