Toronto Blue Jays (30-36) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (30-35)
Where and when: Tropicana Field, Tampa, Florida, Wednesday, 1:10 pm EST
The finale of a 3-game set between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays will take place at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 pm EST. The Jays continue to struggle in 2018 and were losers of 22 of their last 32 games, yet, they have won 4 of their last 5 games while continuing to occupy the 4th spot in the AL East. The Rays have been reeling and continue to occupy the 3rd place slot within the division. In this last outing, the Jays ended a 4-game winning streak by losing 8-4 on the road against the Rays on 6-11-2018. This will be the 2nd meeting of the year amongst these two squads with the Rays taking 2 of 3 earlier in the season.
The Blue Jays are winners of 4 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 2-3. For the season, the Toronto Blue Jays are averaging 4.59 runs per game (8th) with a team batting average of .234 (23rd), 85 homers (5th) along with 23 stolen bases (26th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 4.60 (23rd) with 552 strikeouts (17th) along with 25 quality starts on the season (22nd).
Happ Seeks to Continue His Dominance in 2018
J.A. Happ (8-3), who is having an incredibly solid season despite the troubles the Blue Jays have had, will be coming to the mound fresh off a 5-1 home win versus the Orioles in which he allowed only 1 run on 2 hits on 6-8-2018. In his last outing versus the Rays, Happ pitched 5.2 innings while allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, 4 walks, 1 homer, and 3 strikeouts in a 6-2 road loss on 5-4-2018.
Matt Duffy (.429 BA on 7 AB), Carlos Gomez (.286 BA on 7 AB), Rob Refsnyder (1-3) have the most experience and success against Happ in the past. C. J. Cron (.167 BA on 12 AB) and Jesus Sucre (0-3), however, have not fared as well against the lefty in recent matchups. Happ will be looking for his 5th win in 6 starts on Wednesday while also looking to keep intact his current earned run average (1.6/game).
Pitcher for Tampa Bay Rays Yet To Be Determined
The Tampa Bay Rays have lost 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 4-1. The Rays are averaging 4.12 runs per game (24th) with a team batting average of .257 (6th), 62 homers (26th), along with 37 stolen bases on the year (11th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 4.01 (15th) with 545 strikeouts (19th) and 19 quality starts (28th).
While the pitcher for the Rays have not been determined, it would be important to note that their pitching staff has given up a total of 32 runs in last 6 games (5.3 runs/game average) thus allowing the over to be 5-1 during this time. Yet, in their last 5 road losses, they have done much better in averaging 3.4 runs per game with the under is 4-2. They will certainly have an opportunity to shine against this Toronto team that, up until their 4-game set against the Orioles (which they swept on 6-10-2018) were averaging only 3.2 runs per, but, has since heated up recently in averaging 6.4 runs per game in their last 5 outings.
- The Blue Jays are 3-12 in last 15 Wednesday games
- The Under is 7-2-1 in Blue Jays last 10 games on AstroTurf
- The Over is 16-5-2 in Blue Jays last 23 road games
- The Rays are 2-9 in last 11 games
The Blue Jays certainly possess much of the momentum going into the finale due to the wins they have picked up recently, however, the Rays came away with a convincing win over the Blue Jays on 6-11-2018, thus calling into question the seeming momentum that a team would usually obtain via winning. It seemed as if the Jays simply padded their stats during their last series with the O’s as they seemed very much lackluster in game 1 against the Rays. Nonetheless, while each team has played horribly recently, I will again go with Happ to neutralize the inconsistent bats for the Rays while keeping the total under what is expected on Wednesday.