Three wins in a row going into the weekend is a nice way to get started. The Blue Jays would have hoped to string together some wins in this young season, but will have to settle with a record of 1-3 going into the first weekend of the 2017 MLB season.
The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint, but the showing from Francisco Liriano was nothing to get excited about last night. 1 out was all Liriano had to show for Friday against the Rays. He was chased in the 1st inning after allowing 5 runs.
The scoring didn’t stop following the departure of Liriano, as the Rays went on to light the scoreboard up for 10 runs in a 10-8 victory over the Blue Jays. The offense did what it could to help out, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the poor start in the opening frame. They’ll do it all over again in Tampa on Saturday, with a couple of new hurlers taking the spotlight on the mound.
It’s too early to say what’s going to come of the Rays this season, or the Blue Jays for that matter. However, critical to the Rays’ success is going to be the status of ace Chris Archer. It’s imperative that he puts together a solid year for the Rays to have any chance at competing.
They were supposed to be, in some people’s eyes, the surprise team of 2016. Maybe they can turn it into something in 2017? For that to occur, Archer needs to be the leader in the stable for the Rays’ rotation. The Blue Jays will counter with the bullpen turned member of the starting rotation, Aaron Sanchez.
Sanchez was just too good in his time up in the rotation for them to stuff him back in the rotation. He made the most of the injuries, taking advantage and not giving up a starting position. Sanchez makes his first start of the season here against the Rays on Saturday. Get more information about this matchup, and our free Blue Jays vs. Rays pick below.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Aaron Sanchez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
Archer gets the call for the second time this season, as some rotations around the majors begin to cycle through. Archer pitched like a guy the Rays were happy to see. He went for a 2.57 ERA and 1.14 WHIP against the Yankees in the opener. Archer allowed 2 runs in 7 innings, pacing the Rays to a 7-3 win in the season opener. Getting back to an ERA around 3.00 would be an ideal situation. Archer played the Jays thrice last season, allowing 2 runs in each of those starts.
The Rays faced Sanchez twice last season and were fooled by his mastery. They managed to score just 1 run on him in 14 innings of work. He gave up an average of 5.5 hits in those two starts as well. After the barrage of runs scored last night, I see Sanchez and Archer taming the bats and we end up with a much lower scoring contest. A pick on the UNDER looks like an attractive option on Saturday on the bases in Tampa. Let’s make it four successful picks in a row.
PICK: UNDER 7.5 (-110)