The Toronto Blue Jays edged the Tampa Bay Rays last night, taking a 3-2 win, which they’ll need more of down the stretch. The win on Wednesday didn’t do much to give reach in the American League East, but they are still within reach of a wildcard. They’re 3.5 games back and need to find a big run in them if they want to reach the postseason. There are some things out of their control that will need to go their way as well.
With six teams in line ahead of then, they’ll need others to falter. However, you can only focus on your own agenda and not worry about anyone else. In any event, the Jays certainly do not control their own destiny. Stroman has been doing his best at helping the cause, but baseball isn’t a one-man sport.
As far as the Rays are concerned, they must find a way to get their offense going. The offense has been digging a hole, perhaps all the way out of the wildcard chase. After taking a loss last night, they’re 2.5 games back. The bats have been lost for the last few weeks, though. So, with that in mind, if they just played average during that stretch, they’d be looking much better.
Nevertheless, not many teams can go so cold and still pumping blood. The Jays have been a tough team to put a finger on all season long. We’re approaching September, and they still feel like a team without a clear identity. Chris Archer will look to get his team back on track, while rookie Chris Rowley gets the start for the Blue Jays. Head below for our free Rays vs. Blue Jays pick for Thursday in MLB.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84 ERA) vs. Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69 ERA)
We cashed an easy one yesterday, with another UNDER coming in between the Rays and Blue Jays. The Rays’ offense has been faltering, and UNDER backers have been cashing some checks on them. They hit 6 runs on Tuesday, but this was thanks in part to Estrada having his head anywhere but on the mound. They were quickly brought back to reality by Stroman last night. Rowley will look to keep it going. He was great in his first start at the major league level, allowing just 5 hits and 1 run against the Pirates. Rowley, who went to Army, is one of the few players who has played in the majors from a military school.
In AA ball he sported a terrific 1.73, and then he was solid in Buffalo AAA as well with a 2.82 ERA. Rowley finally got his shot and made the most of it against the Rays. Tampa are heavy favorites in this game behind Chris Archer. Archer has been decent, but he is what I like to call one of the most overrated pitchers in baseball. He’s been a good pitcher throughout his career, but he’s yet to breakout and have that Cy Young type of year people are waiting for. Archer is still looking for a season with an ERA below 3.00. It won’t come in 2017, as he enters today with a 3.84 ERA, as well as a 4.15 ERA and 1.35 WHIP on the road. Rowley isn’t getting any respect here at home, and odds makers think the public will flock to a name like Archer over a no-name like Rowley. The Rays are priced too heavy for my liking here, not with that offense sputtering like the way it’s been.
PICK: BLUE JAYS (+142)