Rays vs Blue Jays Odds, Prediction, Best Bet: Pitching Duel?

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen (57) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Image Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays are jostling for Wild Card position. The Rays host their AL East rivals with only three games separating them in the standings.

A pair of talented righties are toeing the slab tonight, which impacts our top betting selection. So will it be a pitcher’s duel tonight? Check out the Rays vs Blue Jays odds and betting info related to our prediction for this matchup.

Rays vs Blue Jays Odds

Blue Jays (Gausman)
-1.5 (+143)-140O 7 (-120)
@ Rays (Rasmussen)+1.5 (-170)+118U 7 (+100)

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook as of 10 am ET on Aug. 2. 

Kevin Gausman: Road Warrior

Gausman vs Rays: Kevin Gausman has been inconsistent after a blistering start, coughing up five runs in his most recent turn. However, he is a road warrior this year, shoving it down the opponent’s throats when tasked with pitching in enemy territory.

According to FanGraphs, in 50.0 innings on the road this year, Gausman has a 2.34 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 4.4 BB%, and 29.1 K%. In addition, he’s allowed no more than three earned runs in all eight road games, pitching at least 5.2 innings in each.

Rays offense: The Rays are a pinch above-average offense. They’re 12th in wRC+ (100) against righties this year. Though, their 24.7 K% can be exploited by a pitcher the caliber of Gausman.

Tampa Bay has been better lately, ranking tied for fifth in wRC+ (114) over the last 30 days. Still, they’ve struck out at an above-average 24.4% clip while hitting better.

They’re tied for ninth in wRC+ (109) at home this year. However, that mark is weighted using park factors. Tampa Bay’s .305 wOBA at home is tied for 18th, a much less impressive ranking. Again, essentially, the Rays are a slightly above-average offense.

Drew Rasmussen: Monster At Home

Rasmussen vs Blue Jays: While Gausman has done his best work on the road this year, Drew Rasmussen has slain at home. Tampa Bay’s 27-year-old righty has a sparkling 2.9 ERA, 3.09 xFIP, 0.83 WHIP, and 23.4 K% in 38.2 innings at Tropicana Field in 2022.

Rasmussen has allowed no more than three runs in seven home starts, pitching at least five innings six times. The right-handed hurler has also given fellow righties fits, allowing only a .288 wOBA to 188 right-handed batters faced. Rasmussen’s wOBA allowed to righties is even more impressive at home at only .230, notable since Toronto’s lineup is righty-laden.

Blue Jays offense: Toronto’s offense is in the upper echelon by any significant split tonight. They’re third in wRC+ (116) against righties, tied for third in wRC+ (119) over the last 30 days, and fourth in wRC+ (111) in road games this year.

Toronto’s offense is a handful. However, Rasmussen has navigated them well this year. He held the Blue Jays to two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks in 4.2 innings on July 2 in Toronto. Further, on May 13 in Tampa Bay, he allowed only one run on three hits and one walk in 5.2 innings. In all, he’s held the Blue Jays to just three runs in 10.1 innings this season.

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Rays vs Blue Jays Prediction

The pitchers have great splits that lead me to believe this will be a pitcher’s duel. Additionally, Toronto’s bullpen is average, and Tampa Bay’s is above average. The Blue Jays’ relievers are 15th in ERA (3.89), and the Rays’ relievers are seventh in ERA (3.42). So, it won’t get much easier for the offenses when the relievers enter the fold.

According to Baseball-Reference, the Blue Jays are an excellent 47-33 against righties this year. Yet, they’re only 23-24 on the road and 36-36 against teams above .500. Meanwhile, the Rays are 43-35 against righties, 32-20 at home, and 37-34 against teams above .500.

Nevertheless, Toronto’s offensive advantage provides me pause for taking and suggesting the Rays. Instead, I’m leaning into the expectation of a back-and-forth pitching affair and taking under 7.0 runs for the game. Fortunately, both pitchers will get some help from the park factors tonight. According to ESPN, Tropicana Field is 24th in park factor for runs (0.934). So again, the under is the way to go in this AL East battle.

The Pick: Under 7.0 Runs | +100 at Caesars Sportsbook

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