The Rogers Centre in Toronto will host a huge American League East showdown this weekend as the Toronto Blue Jays will host the Tampa Bay Rays. Both teams are in playoff contention in the American League. Unless things change, the New York Yankees seem to have a strong grip on the divisional title. However, with six playoff spots available in each league, teams have a better shot at making the playoffs even if they don’t win their division.
If the season were to end tomorrow, both of these teams would make the playoffs. Tampa Bay would have the final Wild Card spot while still finishing in fourth place in its own division. That’s how strong the American League East is this season. Toronto is currently in third place, sitting just 1.5 games ahead of Tampa Bay.
This will actually be a rare five-game series. These two started their series on Thursday and will play a doubleheader on Saturday. This should be a series you can place a few wagers on. There’ll be some great pitching matchups, and both teams have been playing average baseball over the past few days. We’ll see which team steps it up in this long weekend affair. With that mind, let’s have a closer look at the upcoming series between these two teams so you can bet against their MLB Odds.
A Major Showdown in the American League East | MLB Betting Analysis
The Pitching Matchups
On Friday night, Jose Berrios will be matched up against Corey Kluber. Berrios hasn’t been as good as Toronto expected when it acquired him from the Twins last season. Berrios has flashes of his old self but hasn’t lived up to the expectations. Berrios is 5-4 with a 5.86 ERA on the season.
Corey Kluber has overcome his injury issues and has been a capable starter for Tampa Bay. Kluber is 3-4 with a 3.45 ERA this season. At times he has looked like the former Cy Young award winner, but at others, he’s been very hittable.
For Saturday, the teams have only announced starters for the first game of the doubleheader. For Tampa Bay, Shane McClanahan will take the hill. The young fireballer has been tremendous this season, going 8-3 with a 1.77 ERA and 123 hitters in 91 innings. If he continues at this pace, he’ll be in contention for a Cy Young Award.
Kevin Gausman will oppose McClanahan. The free-agent signee hasn’t lived up to his massive contract, going 6-6 with a 4.17 ERA on the season. However, Gausman can be excellent when he’s firing on all cylinders.
Sunday’s matchup will feature Ross Stripling taking on Shane Baz, who Tampa Bay recently called up from the minors. The rookie hurler has an electric arm with tremendous stuff. He’s 0-1 in his four starts but has 21 strikeouts in his 18 innings pitched.
Baz will go up against Ross Stripling. Stripling is a serviceable starter who has a ton of experience. We’ll see if he’s up to the challenge of going against the young Baz.
This should be a great, long weekend series. We’ll see if the Rays can overtake Toronto or if the Blue Jays will put some ground between themselves and their Southern-most division rivals.