The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays square off on Saturday with first pitch set for 12:07 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Rogers Centre in Toronto and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. A pair of aces will take the hill as the Rays’ Shane McClanahan will battle against the Blue Jays’ Kevin Gausman.
The Rays (40-36) have really struggled to score recently, and that includes Friday’s 9-2 loss in Toronto. The Rays have scored four or fewer runs in 13 of their previous 16 games, going 5-11 during that span. If you omit reigning American League Player of the Week Isaac Paredes, the Rays have also hit only four homers in their past 16 games. The good news is that they do have the best pitcher in the AL on the mound for this game. McClanahan leads the league in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP and opponents’ batting average
After claiming victory on Canada Day on Friday, the Blue Jays (44-33) will try to win their third straight game here. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered yesterday and is batting .398 with a 1.039 OPS over his past 23 games. Teoscar Hernandez is heating up, as he has five homers, 14 RBIs and a .977 OPS through his previous 19 games. Gausman stumbled through most of June, but he finished the month with a fabulous start versus the Red Sox, throwing seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts.
Rays vs. Blue Jays
Pitchers: Shane McClanahan vs. Kevin Gausman
First pitch: 12:07 p.m.
Rays local broadcast: Bally Sports Sun
Blue Jays local broadcast: Sportsnet
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Blue Jays -1.5 (+160)
Run total: 7
Moneyline odds: Blue Jays -140, Rays +120
Moneyline pick: Rays +120
McClanahan. That’s all you need to know. Even though Tampa Bay’s offense is slumping and Toronto’s lineup is loaded with feared sluggers, the left-hander has been absolutely dominant since early May. Over his past nine starts, McClanahan owns a microscopic 1.07 ERA with 76 K’s and only seven walks through 59 innings.
Player prop pick: Shane McClanahan OVER 6.5 strikeouts (-155)
Not a ton of value here, but the Rays’ ace has struck out at least seven batters in each of those nine previous starts. Toronto was around the middle of the pack in strikeouts in June, and you can imagine the bats being a little sluggish out of the gate with today’s extra-early start time.
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