Remember Week 18 of the NFL season last year when the Chargers and Raiders could have just tied and both teams would go to the playoffs. We aren’t quite to the end of the MLB season, but this is about the closest parallel in baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays are 84-65 and the Tampa Bay Rays are 82-67 and they hold the top two Wild Card spots. Neither team has a realistic shot at the Yankees atop the division and if they simply split these next four-games it would almost assure that they hold onto their spots in the Wild Card race.
Jose Berrios starts tonight for the Blue Jays down in Tampa and JT Chargois goes for the Rays.
Blue Jays vs. Rays Odds, Run Line and Total
Blue Jays vs. Rays Prediction and Pick
Jose Berrios has finally started to pitch better for Toronto down the stretch. His last three starts he has gone at least six innings and not allowed more than two earned runs in any. His ERA is 4.99, under five for the first time since July 31. Back then it seemed like Berrios was turning a corner too, but he wasn’t. He got shelled his next two starts and the ERA shot back up to where it’s been his entire tenure as a Blue Jay.
Despite his struggles, the Blue Jays are still 22-7 in his starts and have won six straight when he takes the mound. Berrios has thrown 11.1 innings against Tampa Bay and has a 2.38 ERA, one of his best against any team this season.
The Blue Jays also have the second best offense in baseball by OPS for the past seven days while the Rays slot in at 19th. The Rays have lost three straight, but lead the season series 8-7. The Rays are no stranger to a bullpen day and they’ll employ that strategy again today.
I like the Blue Jays offense right now, but worry about Berrios enough that I’m not going to take the Blue Jays on the road. Instead, I’ll play the over 7.5 because I could see this one turning high scoring.
Pick: OVER 7.5 (-118)
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