Rays vs. Blue Jays MLB Free Picks and Preview

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Jalen Beeks #68 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays will begin a four-game divisional series over the weekend. Tonight’s the first game. How will each team fare in the opening game being featured on YouTube? Let’s see what the MLB odds tell us at the top sportsbooks!

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Thursday, June 30, 2022- 07:07 PM EDT at Rogers Centre

AL EAST Division

The AL East is easily the toughest division in baseball. The Rays and Blue Jays are currently many games over .500 but not even close to the top of the standings in the AL East.

The Rays are sitting at 40-34 on the season while the Blue Jays are 42-33 on the year. A series win for either team would be beneficial moving forward. How will tonight’s YouTube game play out between the Rays and the Blue Jays?

Who Is Pitching for the Rays Today?

The Tampa Bay Rays currently have not confirmed a starter for tonight’s game. At first, I was thinking Drew Rasmussen was going to make his return from the injured list.

But now the rumor is that Rasmussen will make his debut over the weekend and won’t be making his return for tonight’s game. Therefore, I’m going to believe that the Rays will be pitching a bullpen game in tonight’s game against the Blue Jays. Again, at this time, there is nothing confirmed.

Who Is Pitching for the Blue Jays Today?

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will send out Yusei Kikuchi for tonight’s game. The left-hander has a 5.91 xFIP in the last 30 days but also has struck out 27.8% of batters in that time frame. Still, righties have a .561 wOBA and ISO of .544 in the last 69 plate appearances against Kikuchi.

Rays Lineup Analysis

The Rays love to platoon different guys to get the best matchups. A lineup filled with righties would make sense for the Rays.

The Rays’ projected lineup would have seven righties in the lineup and a lineup that has a .193 ISO along with a .341 wOBA in the last 30 days against lefties.

The Rays have also struck out just 17.6% of the time against lefties in the last 30 days, which will be interesting knowing that Kikuchi has earned nearly 28% of strikeouts in the same time frame.

Blue Jays Lineup Analysis

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will likely face more right-handed pitching in comparison to left-handed pitching. Against righties, the Blue Jays have a .202 ISO and wOBA of .345 in the last 30 days.

Like the Rays, the Blue Jays have struck out just 18.6% of the time in the last 30 days and have hit 22.5% of line drives in that time frame.

Rays vs. Blue Jays: Game Prediction

If Yusei Kikuchi can’t earn strikeouts against the Rays, he’s going to have a ton of trouble performing at a high-level tonight. Again, in the last 30 days, he’s been absolutely rocked by righties, allowing a .561 wOBA and ISO of .544 through 69 plate appearances.

That’s a solid sample size to show just how bad he’s been against righties lately. Meanwhile, the Rays have a high wOBA against lefties in the last 30 days and have limited strikeouts very well in that same time frame.

Rays Should Have a Solid Day

Therefore, the Rays should have a solid day offensively. But you also can’t count out the Blue Jays. Against righties, the offense has been just as good as the Rays.

If the Rays end up pitching a lefty, the Blue Jays would also have a lineup of eight righties ready to do damage. I would project a high-scoring game in this one.

MLB Pick for Today

There are currently no betting odds for this game at this time as we await a starter. But I’m going to be looking at taking the Rays in the first five on the team total for tonight’s game.

We know Kikuchi is going to be the starter and we know he’s been awful against righties in the last 30 days. On top of that, the Rays will have seven righties in the lineup to go up against Kikuchi.

Therefore, the starting pitcher on the Rays won’t mean a single thing regardless of who they send out. For my MLB picks, I’m expecting the Rays to have a team total sitting at 2.5 and I’ll be ready to jump on it when the lines come out. If for some reason it’s a 1.5, it’ll be even better.

MLB Pick: Rays Over 2.5 F5 TT (-104) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Rays Over 2.5 F5 TT (-104)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.