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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/22/14

Tampa Bay Rays (62-65) at Toronto Blue Jays (65-62)

MLB Baseball: Friday, August 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm (Rogers Centre)

Drew Smyly (L) (6-10) (3.879) vs. Marcus Stroman (R) (5-4) (3.254)

The Line: Toronto Blue Jays -125 / Tampa Bay Rays +115 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: Sun Sports, SNET

The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays begin a three-game series Friday at Rogers Centre.

The Tampa Bay Rays have split their last eight games and are three games below .500 record. The Rays pitching staff has really carried the load for the last month, allowing three or less runs in 13 of their last 16 games. Overall, the Tampa Bay Rays have an ERA of 3.50, which is eighth in the majors, and they’ve won 11 of their last 16 games when allowing three or less runs. Offensively, Evan Longoria has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games and James Loney has homered twice in his last five games. Drew Smyly gets the ball, and he’s 7-10 with a 3.66 ERA and has 108 strikeouts in 125.1 innings. Smyly is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three career games against the Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/22/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have lost six of their last eight games and are three games above .500. The Blue Jays pitching rotation continues to struggle, allowing four or more runs in eight of their last 11 games. Overall, the Toronto Blue Jays have an ERA of 4.18, which is 24th in the majors, and they’ve lost nine of their last 11 games when allowing more than three runs. Offensively, Jose Bautista has eight RBIs in his last nine games and Melky Cabrera has 15 hits in his last 10 games. Starting is Marcus Stroman, who is 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA and has 73 strikeouts in 87 innings. This is Stroman’s first career game against the Rays.

The Rays are 21-6 in their last 27 road games and 7-3 in their last 10 during game 1 of a series. The Blue Jays are 5-1 in their last 6 games as a home favorite and 4-1 in Stroman's last 5 home starts. The Rays are 1-5 in the last 6 meetings in Toronto.

While the Rays have been great on the road over the last couple of months, the Blue Jays are likely to break out of this funk sooner or later. Given the fact the Rays have to travel on short rest and Toronto had a day off, give me the home team. 

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Toronto Blue Jays -125

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