Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays Preview: Blue Jays Look to Consolidate Playoff Position Against AL East Leaders

Eddie Griffin

With only three weeks left before MLB’s regular season wraps up, the big games are coming thick and fast in both the AL and NL. The top series in the AL to begin this week is in Toronto, where the blazing Toronto Blue Jays host the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. The latest MLB betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook list four teams among the top six contenders to win the AL pennant, and it’s the team that is fourth on that list that is the hottest one of the bunch as we hit mid-September.

The Blue Jays have been tearing the cover off of the ball lately as they have charged up the AL wild-card standings. Their ticket to the postseason will potentially have to come through a wild-card playoff with an AL East rival, and based on their current form, who would bet against them to take care of business?

The Rays head to Toronto after a rare series loss, as they dropped two of three on the road against the Detroit Tigers. But they still own a huge lead in both the AL East and in the race for the best record in the AL. With the Rays set to beat out the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox for homefield advantage on the AL side of the bracket, this series is a potential ALDS preview, as the winner of the AL wild-card playoff will face the AL’s top seed.

How will tonight’s series opener play out? Will the Rays get back on track after their stumble in Detroit, or will the league’s hottest team put on another prodigious power display?

Tampa Bay Rays (89-54) vs Toronto Blue Jays (80-63), MLB Network, 7:07 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers

  • Tampa Bay Rays: Ryan Yarbrough (8-4, 4.90 ERA)
  • Toronto Blue Jays: Alek Manoah (5-2, 3.71 ERA)

Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays MLB Betting Odds


  • Tampa Bay Rays +116
  • Toronto Blue Jays -136


  • OVER 9 (-114)
  • UNDER 9 (-106)

Run Line

  • Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (-162)
  • Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+134)

Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Monday, September 13, 2021 at 1:20 p.m. ET. Want to see betting odds from several top online sportsbooks for the day’s other MLB matchups? Check out our MLB odds.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays MLB Betting Consensus


  • 20% Tampa Bay Rays
  • 80% Toronto Blue Jays

Total (at O/U 9)

  • 80% OVER
  • 20% UNDER

Run Line (at +/-1.5)

  • 80% Tampa Bay Rays
  • 20% Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays Matchup: Betting Picks, Odds, Stats and More

Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays Betting Outlook

Can the Rays Cool Down Toronto’s Blazing Bats?

The Blue Jays have had some ups and downs this season, but entering the final three weeks of the regular season, they are right where they want to be. With 14 wins in their last 16 games, the Blue Jays are in position to make the postseason for two more or seasons in a row for only the third time in their history. With a win yesterday and losses by both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the Blue Jays now occupy the top AL wild-card spot.

The Blue Jays have arguably the most dangerous lineup in baseball, and their exploits Saturday and Sunday showcased why. Even against the Orioles, scoring 22 runs in 14 innings, which Toronto did in Saturday’s doubleheader sweep, is impressive.

But scoring 22 in nine is even better. That is what the Blue Jays did yesterday, destroying the Orioles 22-7. Toronto hit five homers yesterday and put up a 10-spot in the top of the third to put the result beyond doubt early.

In eight games last week, the Blue Jays hit 15 doubles and 24 homers, and they scored 72 runs. Their slash line as a team was .311/.405/.625. Is that good? That’s good.

It’s safe to say that Yarbrough has his work cut out for him tonight, and he happens to be coming in off of a terrible outing. Last Monday, he allowed seven runs in only two innings against the Red Sox.

Which Yarbrough will we see tonight? On one hand, he has pitched well against Toronto this season, going 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four appearances (three starts). On the other hand, he has given up five or more runs in consecutive outings three times this season.

Manoah Looks to Maintain Unbeaten Record in Toronto

Yarbrough’s opposite number could also use a strong outing tonight. Manoah has allowed nine runs, ten hits, and six walks in 10.2 September innings. The Blue Jays have won both of his September starts, but it is a little blip for the rookie, who has pitched well in most of his first 16 MLB starts.

But there is reason to believe that he will be sharper tonight. As has been noted in previous previews, Manoah has fared well since the Blue Jays returned to Toronto. In four starts at Rogers Centre, Manoah is 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA. Allowing six runs in five innings in his last start against the A’s took some of the luster off of his ERA, but he was solid in his other home starts against the Royals, Red Sox, and White Sox.

Overall, the Blue Jays have been excellent since being able to return home. In 24 games in Toronto, they are 17-7 and have won five of seven series. So while they had a fun time on the road, winning seven of eight games against the Yankees and Orioles, they will no doubt be glad to be back home this week.

MLB Betting Trends to Consider for Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays

  • After a win, the Blue Jays are 44-35, a win percentage of 55.7 percent. That ranks ninth in the league.
  • After a loss, the Rays are 25-28, a win percentage of 47.2 percent. That ranks 18th in the league. Among teams that currently occupy playoff positions, the Rays rank last in this area.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays Best Bets

Toronto Blue Jays ML

Last weekend’s series loss to the Detroit Tigers was only Tampa Bay’s second series loss in nine road series since the All-Star break. So this is not one to put the house, cars, and children on. But shorter than -140 odds on the league’s hottest team in a favorable pitching matchup at home? That is MLB betting value not to be passed up.

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