Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Prediction and Pick
When: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – 7:10 pm EST
Where: Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Probable Pitchers:
- Blue Jays: Alek Manoah (6-2, 3.39 ERA)
- Rays: Drew Rasmussen (3-1, 3.00 ERA)
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Prediction
As we approach late September, every game matters. The Blue Jays lead the second wild card by just .5 games, even after winning seven of their last 10.
The offense is heating up just in time, and it’s been a sight to see. They’ve crushed righties and have one of the best hitting lineups in baseball, including MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The Blue Jays are going to face some tough competition this week. First, they’ll take on the Tampa Bay Rays, who have one of the better pitching staffs in the league.
But when they’re facing top-tier pitching, their team total lines dip. With this offense, it’s hard to pass any team total. The Blue Jays are very capable of scoring two runs in the first five innings against any opponent. Even Gerrit Cole.
Drew Rassmussen will take the mound, and he’s far from Gerrit Cole. He’s got an xFIP of 4.31 in the last 30 days, along with just 15.1 percent strikeouts. On top of that, he’s allowing 25 percent line drives and 43.3 percent hard contact.
His last start was beautiful, holding the Blue Jays to no runs through five innings. However, he allowed eight fly balls, five ground balls and just struck out three batters in that game.
What I’m saying is that the Blue Jays had plenty of chances to score in this one. Rasmussen didn’t look incredible. Toronto stayed aggressive and struggled to find grass in the outfield.
The Blue Jays lineup has a .252 ISO and wOBa of .375 in the last 30 days against righties. They’re also hitting just 34.8 percent ground balls, and 25.3 percent line drives. This offense has all the potential in the world against any opponent.
Two of the top home run hitters are stacked in the Blue Jays lineup, including Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien. Both have high elevated wOBA and ISO numbers, along with low strikeouts and high walks.
The bottom of the order has also impressed against righties, with Lourdes Gurriel, Breyvic Valera, and Danny Jansen all chipping in with real production. They’ve all hit a high ISO against righties and have a high wOBA, and walk at a high rate, all while hitting a high number of line drives.
Therefore, I’ll take a chance on this Blue Jays lineup to score two runs in the first five innings. You’re getting a fair price of -130 for the Blue Jays Over 1.5 in the first five on the team total.
The offense has seen Rasmussen before, and while they’ve struggled to hit him, the extra film should help. They’ll put together a game plan that makes the most sense and score two runs in the first five innings in this one.