In one of only a couple games with major postseason implications tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays will be in Toronto for a three-game clash against the Blue Jays. They are looking to put an end to the postseason race tonight with a win and loss by the Indians in Washington. If the Indians lose in Washington and the Rays win it’s all over.
There is a glimmer of hope for the Indians, though, but they are going to need a ton of help from the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are going to have to feel like helping out the Indians with a sweep of the Rays this weekend. That’s a tall chore for the Jays, but we’ve seen way crazier things happen than a team having a poor series against an inferior team on the road.
The Rays haven’t been doing the Indians any favors lately. While the Indians choked away a couple of grand opportunities against the White Sox the last two days, the Rays have been scoring hot with a record of 6-1 in their previous seven games.
That’s how you seize the moment and take charge of the situation. The Rays look like a team who want to be playing in the postseason, while the Indians certainly do not. It’s going to be the Wild Card game, so it could be a short trip, though.
The Blue Jays are coming off a series win against the Orioles at Rogers Centre. It doesn’t mean anything, but the Jays have their eyes set on a bright future. Their lineup is littered with young talent that one day could lead them to something meaningful. The Indians certainly believe that this weekend is meaningful in Toronto, though. Tyler Glasnow and TJ Zeuch are currently scheduled for the series opener in Friday night. Head below for our free Rays vs. Blue Jays pick.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick:
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Tyler Glasnow was involved in the Chris Archer trade with the Pirates. What a colossal failure that trade was for the Pirates. It didn’t make any sense then and it’s even more confusing now. Not only did the Rays get a quality arm, but they got a quality bat out of the deal as well. Trading Glasnow or Austin Meadows along would have been bad enough, but they included both players in the deal. The Rays were ecstatic that there was a team out there who didn’t believe Archer was overrated.
Glasnow suffered an injury earlier in the season, but he’s back and pitching at an elite level. The injury doesn’t seem to be bothering him any, so his injury may have been a blessing in disguise. His arm is certainly going to be fresh for the postseason. Glasnow goes into Toronto with an ERA of 1.92 and record of 6-1. He’s made just 11 starts this season, but has made the most out of the majority of them. Glasnow has been elite pitching on the road. Note that he has a 0.63 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in 28.2 innings. That includes a perfect record of 4-0.
The Blue Jays are expected to counter with the rookie TJ Zeuch. He hade made only two starts and two appearances as a reliever out of the bullpen. Zeuch has been okay, but there isn’t much else to report on thus far. Avoiding getting destroyed by the Yankees in two games was pretty good for him. He also looked decent in his debut against the Braves. In a total of 17.2 innings, Zeuch has posted a 4.58 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.
Toronto can’t compete with the Rays’ bullpen in this contest. That has separated the Rays from a lot of other teams in the American League this year. Tampa are 2nd in the major leagues with a 3.62 ERA from their relievers collectively. Conversely, the Blue Jays are 15th with an ERA of 4.36. The Rays look determined to go to the postseason and I don’t think the Jays are going to get in their way Friday night. Glasnow and the bullpen make the Rays a confident play in Toronto this evening.