The Toronto Blue Jays (26-24) will look to split this four-game series with the MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays (36-15) on Thursday afternoon. The Rayshave won two of the first three, including a 7-3 victory on Wednesday night as Shane McClanahan improved to 8-0. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. ET from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Alek Manoah (1-4, 5.15 ERA) will get the ball for the Jays, while Zach Eflin (6-1, 3.45) goes for Tampa.
The Rays are -145 moneyline favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, making the Blue Jays +125 underdogs with the over/under set at 8.5.
Blue Jays-Rays picks: Thursday, May 25
Day to day: C Danny Jansen (groin)
Out: SS Santiago Espinal (hamstring), RP Zach Pop (hamstring), RP Mitch White (elbow), SP Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow), RP Chad Green (elbow)
Day to day: 2B Brandon Lowe (neck)
Out: RP Zack Littell (shoulder), SP Drew Rasmussen (forearm), RP Garrett Cleavinger (knee), RP Jeffrey Springs (elbow), SP Tyler Glasnow (oblique), RP Shawn Armstrong (neck), SP Shane Baz (elbow), RP Andrew Kittredge (elbow)
Alek Manoah vs. Zach Eflin
Manoah is coming off a couple successful seasons to start his MLB career, but he’s not throwing very well in 2023. Manoah is putting a ton of baserunners on, especially in walks with 33, which is the second-most in the league.
Eflin is in his first season with Tampa Bay and is set to make his ninth start of 2023. In his last outing, he allowed three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
It’s strange to see how poorly Manoah has performed this season coming off a year when he finished with a 2.24 ERA through 31 starts. He gave up at least four walks in six starts this season including seven in an outing against the New York Yankees this month. The Rays are not an offense you want to be facing if you’re having trouble keeping runners off the base paths.
Pick: Over 8.5
Eventually, Manoah will start to figure things out, but this isn’t the offense to do it against. The Rays lead the MLB in slugging percentage (.501) and on-base percentage (.346). Tampa Bay should be able to put up a big number in this matchup.