MLB Picks: The Rays will host the Blue Jays tonight for game two of their three game American League East set at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay struck first last night with a 3-1 extra innings win and they are favored to hand Toronto another loss tonight. Online bookmaker BetUS.com has the Rays listed as a -155 moneyline favorite in their MLB Picks: Blue Jays vs Rays MLB Betting Odds – July 8, 2009.
Tampa Bay busted out of a four game funk yesterday when Pat Burrell belted a two run shot in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Rays a 3-1 series opening win. The dramatic walkoff bomb moved Tampa's overall record to 45-39 and kept them 5.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings. The victory also improved the Rays home record to 27-13 on the year.
Tampa Bay, which is 6-4 in their last 10 games, will look to keep their home momentum rolling with lefty Scott Kazmir on the hill tonight. Kazmir has had a rough year, sitting at 4-5 with a 6.79 ERA through 11 starts, but he has looked more like his old self since returning from the DL a couple weeks ago. The 25 year old has made two starts since comeback from a quad injury and yielded just nine hits and two earned runs in those appearances (10 innings).
Toronto continued their lackluster play last night, falling to 43-42 overall and 18-24 away from the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays, which have lost eight of their last 10 games, are allowing their opposition to score nearly six runs per game over their last five contests. Their recent slippage has relegated them to fourth place in the AL East and left them eight games behind the Red Sox.
Manager Cito Gaston will send LSU product Brian Tallet to the bump this evening. Tallet has been a respectable performer for the Jays this season, garnering a 5-6 record in 16 starts to go along with a 4.24 ERA. The 31 year old veteran has been even better on the road, producing a 3.98 ERA in eight away appearances. Despite his decent play, Toronto has won just one of Tallet's last five road starts.
Tonight's Jays versus Rays matchup is scheduled to take place at 7:08pm ET at the Trop in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Toronto Blue Jays +1.5 (-145), Over 9 (+100), +135 (Moneyline)
Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+125), Under 9 (-120), -155 (Moneyline)
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