Blue Jays vs. Rays Prediction and Odds for Sunday, September 25 (Trust Starters to Bounce Back)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan. / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays have both fallen well behind the New York Yankees again in the American League East division, so now they are battling each other for a top wild card spot. 

Sunday’s series finale features a great pitching matchup between Rays lefty Shane McClanahan (12-6, 2.36 ERA) and Jays righty Ross Stripling (8-4, 3.21 ERA). 

While both of these starters have been great this season, they did struggle in their last starts. McClanahan and Stripling allowed five earned runs in just four innings of work in their last outing. Eerily similar numbers, but I’m not going to overreact to it in this matchup. 

Let’s break down the odds for this game and make a pick. 

Blue Jays vs. Rays Odds, Run Line and Total

Blue Jays vs. Rays Prediction and Pick

Even off of bad outings, I think the move here is to back both McClanahan and Stripling to keep this game low scoring early. 

Prior to his rough start against the Philadelphia Phillies, Stripling had made 16 straight starts where he allowed three or fewer runs, pitching to a 2.47 ERA over that stretch. Similarly, McClanahan had pitched to a 2.20 ERA over his previous 16 outings, allowing fewer than three earned runs 13 times. 

The Jays have a solid offense but McClanahan is a legit Cy Young candidate. In addition to that, Toronto ranks 11th in baseball in OPS against lefties this season, compared to second against righties. It’s a small drop off, but they clearly don’t hit lefties as well. 

3.5 runs seems like a reasonable number for the first five innings, and if both of these guys have their best stuff, this will easily go UNDER. 

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.