MLB Predictions: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The Toronto Blue Jays (2-1) and Tampa Bay Rays (1-2) will close out a four-game American League East series Thursday, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have dominated the Toronto Blue Jays at home in recent years
The Tampa Bay Rays have dominated the Toronto Blue Jays at home in recent years

Toronto has totaled seven runs in winnings its last two games at Tropicana Field, including a 3-0 victory over Tampa Bay as +140 underdogs Wednesday, while going UNDER the betting total in each of those affairs.  The Blue Jays got a pair of home runs from outfielder Jose Bautista last night—his 22nd multi-homer game of his great career.    The club has won a road series from the Rays since April 6-8, 2007, which is the longest streak in baseball.  Toronto is 22-31 as road underdogs of +125 to +150 the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 27-24 in that situation.

Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow posted a 5.74 ERA in Spring Training, as he looks to bounce back from a 2-3 record and 5.63 ERA in 10 efforts last season.  The right-hander is 6-7 with a 4.31 ERA in 38 career games (18 starts) in April.  In 16 career games (12 starts) versus the Rays, Morrow has compiled a 5-6 record and 3.72 ERA, including an even 2-2 mark and 3.00 ERA in six appearances at this ballpark.

Tampa Bay has been held to just two runs in dropping its last two games after plating nine in its season-opening win.  The Rays haven’t hit a home run in the first three contests of this series, while they’ve gone just 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position during their two-game losing streak.  It’s important to point out that the team’s bullpen has surrendered just one run in nine innings of work.  Tampa Bay is 28-26 as a home favorites of -125 to -150 the last two-plus seasons.

Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer signed a six-year, $25 million contract extension earlier this week, which was made possible by tallying a 9-7 record and 3.22 ERA in 23 efforts in 2013.  The right-hander was 5-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 12 home outings a year ago, with opposing hitters batting just .212 against him.  In three lifetime games versus the Blue Jays, Archer has compiled a 1-0 mark and 1.65 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rays due to the Blue Jays being 0-5 in Morrow’s last five outings as a road underdog.

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