- AL East leader Tampa snapped Toronto’s four-game win streak in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory
- While Tampa is now nine games clear of the Jays, Toronto is desperate for wins to stay in Wild-Card race
- Read on for a preview, full odds and a best bet for this crucial Wednesday afternoon contest
The Tampa Bay Rays (90-55, 45-29 away) visit the Toronto Blue Jays (81-64, 40-30 home) on Wednesday, September 15th, to finish up an important three-game series for both clubs. While the Rays are closing in on a second straight division title, the Blue Jays are playing for their postseason lives, locked in a three-way battle with the Yankees and Red Sox for the two AL Wild-Card berths.
Tampa will be hoping to carry some momentum over from Tuesday night, when it combined for a three-hitter in a 2-0 shutout win to slow a Blue Jays offensive juggernaut that had scored 52 runs during a four-game win streak.
Rays vs Blue Jays Odds
|Tampa Bay Rays||+150||+1.5 (-130)||Over 9 (-110)|
|Toronto Blue Jays||-170||-1.5 (+110)||Under 9 (-110)|
Odds as of September 15th at DraftKings.
Tampa will be hoping for a similar defensive effort to Tuesday when it sends Michael Wacha out to the mound on Wednesday for a 3:07 p.m. ET start. The Rays were just the third team to shut the Blue Jays out this season in their 2-0 win, and they will need more of the same here as Wacha’s 3-4 record and 5.37 ERA will be put to the test.
The Rays are loading back up with pitching. Tampa Bay signs former Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha to a one-year deal worth $3M.
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) December 18, 2020
However, the right-hander has pitched much better of late, with a 2.35 ERA and .164 opponent average in his last three starts. That comes after a horrendous seven-game stretch prior to that in which Wacha had a 7.64 ERA and .351 opponent average.
Wacha vs Ray Stats
While Wacha will be making his first career start at Rogers Centre, he has previously pitched well against the Blue Jays, with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts against them. On top of that, Wacha has gone 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 45 innings pitched against AL East opposition this year.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Blue Jays Batters||Batting Average vs Michael Wacha|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||.000|
|Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||1.000|
|Rays Batters||Batting Average vs Robbie Ray|
Robbie Ray will start his 29th game of the season on Wednesday, looking to improve on his 11-5 record. He could do worse than face the Rays given his own history against them, however. The left-hander has gone 1-1 in four starts against them this year, with an ERA of 2.00 and a 0.74 WHIP.
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) September 10, 2021
And 2021 is far from an anomaly either, as in six career starts against Tampa, Ray has a 1-2 record and 2.68 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
Rays On Top
While the Blue Jays may be the most unstoppable offensive force in MLB right now, with the team going 12-2 in September, powered by 114 runs, the Rays virtually shut them down on Tuesday night. That is something the AL East leader has done all year, going 9-6 against its division rival.
In addition to that, Tampa has dominated the AL East, going 47-22 against the rest of the division this year.
But Toronto has proven to be resilient, particularly of late, with the team winning 15 of its last 18 games.
Rays vs Blue Jays Prediction
Tampa may have had Toronto’s number on Tuesday night, but given the explosive offense that the Blue Jays have become of late, combined with having a Cy Young-caliber starter on the mound on Wednesday, it is hard to look past the team from north of the border in this Wednesday matinee matchup.
Best bet: Blue Jays -1.5 (+110)