MLB Picks: Blue Jays at Rays

Beyond May the Jays have a 1-9 record at Tropicana, scoring 1.9 runs per game

 

The Toronto Blue Jays let one get away last night at the Trop and today they’ll hand the ball to JA Happ as they look to even the series with the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

[dropcap2]T[/dropcap2]oronto is 13-40 in Tampa since 2008 and 4-13 since the start of last season. Their first trip of the year in 2012-13 they went 6-0-1 O/U scoring 5.3 RPG but the team failed to bring the lumber in later visits, going 1-9 and scoring a paltry 1.9 runs per game (RPG). Toronto only scored more than four runs once in those 10 games and only three of 10 went over 8.5 runs.

 

Roberto Hernandez (6-12, 4.95 ERA) gets the start for Tampa and MLB odds makers had little choice but to favor the home side despite the right-hander’s lopsided win-loss record. The current moneyline shows Tampa -148 with a total of 8.5.

 

Happ’s making his return to the place that he was injured in May and its tough knowing what we can expect from him tonight. Happ’s return from the DL went poorly in Seattle, he bounced back vs. Oakland but still received a no decision and in limited action against Tampa Bay the lefty was hit hard. His ERA on the road this season is 6.85.

 

Hernandez has handled Toronto just fine this year (4 ER in 14 IP) and in eight career starts vs. the Jays he’s only allowed more than 3 earned runs once (@ Rogers Centre).

 

Jerry Layne looks like an “Over” ump but the last two years he’s called two Jays games and they scored 1 and 0 runs. Toronto could try and use Happ’s return as a motivator but Tampa is in the midst of a heated pennant race and looking to gain ground as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox battle things out at Fenway.

 

The moneyline odds on Tampa are too high but at plus-money, our baseball play for Saturday is on the Toronto team total.

Pick: Take the Jays TT under 3.5 (+107)

 

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