Today’s play of the day is a battle between two AL East foes. While they are in much different positions at this point of the season, both squads have been surprisingly hot. The home team seems to have found their stride with their season coming to an end. The road team is fighting for one of the two AL wild-card spots. Both teams are 7-3 over their last 10 contests and appear to have a strong chance to win this contest. Based on the early money and team form-based recency bias, there appears to be tremendous value on the home underdogs. Let’s dig in to uncover if the home team is the play, or if the visitor’s combination of superior form and talent this season puts them over the top.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays
|Team||Record||Power Ranking||Runs Scored||Differential|
|Tampa Bay Rays||95-64||7||4.77||+117|
|Toronto Blue Jays||65-94||26||4.48||-106|
The Tampa Bay Rays are set to do battle with the Toronto Blue Jays in an evening affair. Tampa Bay is fighting for their playoff lives. With the season coming to a close the Rays find themselves embroiled in a three-team race for the two AL wild-card spots. The Rays are currently in wild card position, but continue to be chased by a Cleveland Indians team that refuses to go away. The Rays are 95-64 on the season and 47-31 on the road. The magic number is two for the Rays as they need two wins, or one win and a Cleveland loss to clinch a wild card berth. Two Cleveland losses would also do the trick. The Rays have just three games left on the season and are likely counting their blessings that they drew the Jays on the docket for their final series of the 2019 regular season. Tampa Bay has won six of their last seven contests.
Toronto has been a disaster on the season as a whole, but have shown some impressive sparks down the stretch. Vladamir Guerrero Jr. has been struggling behind the plate on the season, but Jays rookie Bo Bichette has been even better than advertised. The Jays have shown off their young wares in September and will look to build upon a successful close to the 2019 campaign.
Thanks to two of their last three series’ being against Baltimore, the Jays have won seven of their last 10. They even pulled out two victories against the New York Yankees in their last four series’. Toronto is 65-94 on the season and holds a 33-45 home record. Winners of seven of their last 10, Toronto will be looking to play spoiler against their AL East foe.
The Toronto Blue Jays will be sending intriguing rookie T.J. Zeuch to the mound, the Rays will be countering with early-season breakout pitcher Tyler Glasnow. T.J. Zeuch has made just four appearances and two starts on the season. He has been relatively impressive as he has allowed three runs or less in all of his appearances. He is 1-1 on the season with a 4.58 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. While two starts and just four appearances is a small sample size, Zeuch has been better on the road this season. He holds a 4.50 ERA and 1.13 WHIP away from the Rogers Centre.
Glasnow was excellent to open the season and has impressed since his return from injury. He has pitched in an opener role since his return but looked like one of the best starters in baseball prior to missing over three months of action. Glasnow has an elite 1.64 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. He has a 6-1 record on the season. Interestingly, Glasnow has actually been much better on the road this season. He has a relatively underwhelming 3.25 ERA and 1.16 WHIP at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay has won nine of his 11 starts this season.
Edge: Tampa Bay Rays
- They have won their last five Friday contests.
- They have won seven of their last eight series openers.
- They have won 20 of their last 27 contests against the AL East.
- They have won seven of their last 10 following an off day.
- They have won 36 of their last 52 contests.
- They have won 76 of their last 112 contests against teams with losing records.
- They have won their last five series openers.
- They have won seven of their last 10 against the AL East.
- They have won seven of their last 10 contests.
- They have lost 52 of their last 77 contests against teams with winning records.
- They have lost 35 of their last 51 contests following a win.
- They have lost 51 of their last 74 contests against starting pitchers with a WHIP lower than 1.15.
- Tampa Bay has won his last five road starts.
- Tampa Bay has won his last four starts against teams with losing records.
- Tampa Bay has won four of his last five starts against the AL East.
- Tampa Bay has won five of his last six starts.
- Tampa Bay has won his last five road starts against teams with losing records.
- Toronto has won one of his two starts.
- He has allowed three runs or less in all four of his appearances.
Edge: Tampa Bay Rays
The line for this contest has seen some movement in favor of Toronto. It opened at +174 for the Blue Jays and has dropped overnight to +171 at PointsBet. Toronto has been on a roll lately, but have a tough task ahead with the Tampa Bay Rays. The early money suggests the Jays have a stronger chance to win than the current odds suggest. T.J. Zeuch is a wild card as a rookie pitcher making just his third career start. He looked downright impressive in his starts against the Yankees and seems to have attracted some smart money looking for one of today’s dog winners.
Tampa Bay is the better team with the better pitcher taking the mound, and as such has attracted almost 75 percent of the public’s action. Tyler Glasnow has been terrific on the season as a whole and has impressed in the opener role he has played in since his return from injury. Glasnow should make starts in the playoffs. The debate for this contest is between chasing a heavy favorite and the higher probability for a payout vs taking a line with obvious value. Trends and form still support the Rays in this contest, but it is much closer than one may expect. Lay action for a partial unit return or parlay them with some of this weekend’s NFL action to maximize your return.