MLB Betting Preview: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays

Evan Longoria still has yet to find the groove, and is hitting .238 on the season
Evan Longoria still has yet to find the groove, and is hitting .238 on the season

Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays
Time: 7:05 PM ET
Line: TOR -1.5
M/L: TOR -150; TAM +135
Total: 8.5 runs

Betting odds c/o Bovada

The Tampa Bay Rays have already been hit by the injury bug. The hope is that starting Jake Odorizzi will minimize the Toronto Blue Jays enough to sneak out with a win. MLB oddsmakers are not buying that notion, setting the line 1.5 runs in favor of the Jays while also setting the total at 8.5 runs.

Tampa Bay is 3-3 but will be playing without Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly and Matt Moore. Both Cobb and Smyly are on the 15-day DL. Chris Archer and Odorizzi will have to carry the load for the pitching rotation, though Erasmo Ramirez will get the start on Wed. Ordorizzi held the Baltimore Orioles scoreless Wed as Tampa Bay won 2-0. He gave up just two hits, walking none, and he struck out seven hitters.

Last year, Ordorizzi led all rookies with 174 strikeouts, compiling an 11-13 mark with a 4.13 ERA. He’s hoping to build on that success in his sophomore campaign. Ordorizzi said he “felt the same as spring training…just (trying to) go out there and execute pitches…last year was a big learning curve for me.” Taking those lessons and moving forward should help this Tampa Bay rotation immensely once healthy.

Kevin Kiermaier is leading the way for the Rays and has a .381 average, which is the highest of those with at least 20 at bats. He also is second on the team in RBIs (4) to David DeJesus (6.). DeJesus has been at bat just 11 times, but has six hits and a .909 slugging average. Evan Longoria has struggled, getting just 4 hits in 21 at-bats for a .238 average, while he has also struck out three times this season. Asdrubal Cabrera has struck out seven times in 25 at bats. The Rays have to get an injection of offense, because Ordorizzi should be able to slow Toronto enough to keep this game within reach.

The Blue Jays won two of three in its matchup against Baltimore to improve to 4-2 on the season. The Jays had just three hits in the loss on Sat., but scored eight runs in the first four innings of Sunday’s contest. Jose Bautista hit his first home of the year, a two-run homer in the eight. He’s been battling cramps in his legs, but is fully expected to play. Bautista is 0 of 8 and has strikeout three times against Odorizzi. The Jays roster is hitting just 4 of 37 against the Rays’ right hander.

Jose Reyes also deal with an oblique issue, but he had three hits and drove in a run batting lead off for the Jays.

The Jays will send R.A. Dickey to the mound, and he is hoping to take the Rays down, since Tampa has not fared well in home openers, losing 10 of its 12. Dickey has a 1.42 ERA after giving up just one run in 6.1 innings on Wed., but the bullpen lost the game by giving up three runs in the eight inning. Dickey went 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA in his final three starts of last year.

The Jays bat just .228 vs. right handed pitchers while the Rays are batting .242 against righties. Tampa has two non-pitchers on the DL, in catcher J. Jaso, 1B J. Loney. The pitching staff has four starters and a reliever on the DL, so the health of the pitching staff is of utmost concern for Tampa Bay at this point. The fact that the Rays aren’t even close to being competitively healthy has to strike a deep concern at this point.

Tampa Bay:
• Under is 7-2 in TB last 9 Mon. games.
• Over is 11-4-1 in TB last 16 road games.
• TB are 5-11 in Odorizzis last 16 road starts.

• TOR are 14-4 in their last 18 games on astroturf.
• TOR are 11-4 in their last 15 home games.
• TOR are 9-4 in their last 13 overall.

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