Rays vs Blue Jays Pick
MLB Baseball betting action sees the Tampa Bay Rays taking on the Toronto Blue Jays Friday July 17th at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. Cappers Picks provides free MLB Baseball handicapping tips all season long.
The visiting Rays (46-45) have all the pitching in the world and little else, while the Blue Jays (45-46) have all the hitting in the world and little else.
Tampa Bay vs. Toronto
Date/Time: Friday, July 17 2015, 7:07 pm EST
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto ON
Tampa Bay +125, Toronto -145
Pitching Match-up: Jake Odorizzi (5-5, 2.30 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) vs. Drew Hutchison (8-2, 5.33 ERA, 1.49 WHIP)
Put ’em together and you’d have a super-team, but how do these teams’ realities stack up in the second half in a jumbled AL East division?
Tonight’s pitching duel, in fact, gets to the heart of the earlier assertion about these two ballclubs.
Despite a good win/loss record, Hutchison has been one of the worst starters in baseball in the first half of the season; if not among the worst overall, at least among the most inconsistent.
He’s had stellar performances – usually at home, where, paradoxically in a hitter’s park like the “Rog”, his stats are way more favorable than on the road – but he’s had a lot more stinkers.
This is a crucial start for Hutchison, to prove he has the chops to stay in the rotation. Toronto’s pitching depth is such a mess, that they may have no choice but to keep Hutchison in the mix until GM Alex Anthopoulos can swing a deal.
Judging by the statistics, Tampa Bay’s Odorizzi is a much superior starting pitcher. He hasn’t always gotten the run support, characteristic of all of Tampa’s starters, but he’s put up some impressive stats.
Despite injuries to their starters like Matt Moore and Drew Smyly, the Rays have used excellent work from Odorizzi and Chris Archer, to name two, to keep their head above water, one game over .500 in the East.
The Yankees are leading the division, but it truly is a knife-fight in the East and it is still anyone’s division to win. If any of the teams get hot (even the last-place Red Sox, after their recent solid play) they have a chance to claw back into this.
With Toronto’s volatile and productive batting order, they have the best chance to really heat up. The Jays have so many sluggers that they can afford to jettison some players, but they are dead in the water without pitching assistance.
Losing Marcus Stroman, who was slated to be Toronto’s ace pitcher in only his second season (that says a lot right there), was a major gut punch for this franchise. Vets like Mark Buehrle are solid, but he alone is not enough to take a team to the promised land even with a bushel of sluggers.
Toronto badly needed to reset before the All-Star break and hopefully they did just that. If Hutchison continues to do his Jekyll-and-Hyde routine, it should mean that he pitches well in front of the home fans.
4* Free MLB Pick: Toronto 9, Tampa Bay 5
If Hutchison has a decent start, the Jays will likely be motivated to get the bats swinging and in the bandbox that is the Rogers Centre, Toronto should grab a home win.
Take the OVER
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