The Toronto Blue Jays take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the third game of a four-game series on Wednesday, May 24. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. ET from Tropicana Field. Yusei Kikuchi (5-1, 4.08 ERA) will pitch for the Blue Jays, and while dominant lefty Shane McClanahan (7-0, 2.05 ERA) goes for the Rays.
Tampa is a -195 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Toronto coming in at +165. The total is set at 8.5.
Blue Jays-Rays picks: Wednesday, May 24
Out: SP Tyler Glasnow (oblique), LHP Jake Diekman (paternity)
Out: SP Mitch White (elbow), RP Zach Pop (hamstring), 2B Santiago Espinal (hamstring)
Shane McClanahan vs. Yusei Kikuchi
Kikuchi has tailed off a bit recently, with a few more outlying games of four or more runs allowed, but he performed well against this tough Rays lineup back in April. The lefty lasted six innings and allowed just one earned run while striking out nine batters. In his latest start, he let up three earned runs to the Baltimore Orioles in 4.2 innings.
McClanahan has been having an excellent year, lasting six or more innings in seven of his 10 starts and allowing more than two runs just one time this season. The last time the ace pitched against Toronto, he allowed one run and struck out six batters in six innings. In his most recent start, he held the Brewers scoreless and struck out seven in seven frames.
Last night’s game was quite the outlier as the Blue Jays ran up the score to 20-1 with nine runs in the ninth inning. Assuming we don’t see another one of those situations tonight, we have two pitchers on the mound that have proven themselves against these opposing lineups and will be able to stay on the mound for the majority of the game. However, in the five times that these teams have faced off this season, they’ve gone under 8.5 combined runs just once. With the strength of these lineups, I think they’ll scratch enough runs across to hit the over.
Pick: Over 8.5
McClanahan is undefeated this season, and I don’t see him taking his first loss tonight. The combination of his elite pitching and the Rays’ top-ranked run support puts them over the edge in this matchup for me tonight. They’ll be looking to bounce back from yesterday’s disaster.