Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/4/14
Toronto Blue Jays (71-67) at Tampa Bay Rays (67-73)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm (Tropicana Field)
Mark Buehrle (L) (11-9) (3.503) vs. Jake Odorizzi (R) (10-11) (4.032)
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -133 / Toronto Blue Jays +123 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds
The Toronto Blue Jays look to win a fifth straight game and sweep the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.
The Toronto Blue Jays routed the Rays on Wednesday night to gain ground in the wild card race with the Tigers losing as they now sit 4.5 games back. The Blue Jays have their work cut out for them with the Yankees, Indians and Mariners all chasing the Tigers for the second spot, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility as Toronto plays its next ten games against sub-.500 competition. In last night’s 7-4 win, Adam Lind had a big day with four hits, Dioner Navarro drove in two runs with his 18th home run, Edwin Encarnacion drove in a pair of runs with his 28th home run of the season, Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista each had two hits, and Danny Valencia had two RBI’s as virtually everyone contributed at the plate.
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Mark Buehrle takes the mound for the visiting Blue Jays in search of his first win since July 30th. The veteran lefty Buehrle enters this contest with a WHIP of 1.41 and ERA of 3.50 while posting an 11-9 record over 27 starts. Buehrle has been better on the road with an ERA of 3.10 across 13 starts; he has also been effective against the Rays with an ERA of 2.70 while going 2-0 in four starts spanning 26.2 innings where he has yet to concede a home run.
The Tampa Bay Rays are left to play spoiler to close the year but it hasn’t worked out for them in this series as they’ve dropped back-to-back games to the Jays. Rays starter Chris Archer was roughed up in last night’s loss allowing six runs on ten hits over six innings as the offense tried to rally but came up short. Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs, James Loney had an RBI, and Ben Zobrist had two hits, but ultimately the 11 hit output didn't yield enough to match the Jays.
Jake Odorizzi will make the start for the Rays on Thursday looking to build on a dominant outing in his last start against the Red Sox where he pitched seven innings of one hit shutout ball. For the season Odorizzi has been streaky as he enters this game with a WHIP of 1.28 and ERA of 4.03 while compiling a 10-11 record. The 24 year old righty Odorizzi has been his best at home with an ERA of 2.92 across 15 starts; he also won his only start against the Jays on July 12th allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out eight over 6.2 innings of work.
Buehrle isn’t Toronto’s best option on the mound but getting the better team that’s on a roll at the moment at plus odds is still the play here.