The Toronto Blue Jays (18-16) take on the Tampa Bay Rays (20-14) in the rubber match of a three-game series at Tropicana Field. After Tampa captured the opener 5-2 on Friday night the Blue Jays struck back on Saturday with a 5-1 win. Both teams figure to be in the playoff mix all season in what is setting up to be a compelling AL East race. The Blue Jays send young phenom Alek Manoah to the hill while the Rays will send Jeffrey Springs will make his second start in 7 appearances. First pitch is at 1:40 PM EST.
Blue Jays Look for Series WinAfter jumping out to a fast start, Toronto has come crashing back to earth over the last two weeks in large part due to some tough losses against the scorching hot Yankees. Despite the recent setbacks the Blue Jays feature a dynamic lineup and some top-line starting pitching. Alek Manoah has been brilliant out of the gate entering Sunday with a 4-0 record and 1.75 ERA. He is coming off five innings of two-run ball his last time out at Cleveland. On Saturday, the Blue Jays came back for a 5-1, rallying for four runs in the 8th.
While the Blue Jay lineup features several prominent sluggers, they are still trying to find their footing in the early going. They rank just 22nd in the league in runs scored averaging 3.8 per contest. Expect to see some massive improvements for an offense that is too talented to stay down for long. Vladimir Guerrero Jr leads the club in batting average hitting .281 and RBIs with 20. George Springer's seven home runs top the leaderboards.
Resiliant Rays Look to Keep WinningThe Rays are off to another fast start in 2022. The defending AL East champs have been a machine in recent years, finding unique ways to stay competitive with the top dogs in the division despite owning a fraction of their payroll. They are off to a decent start on the offensive end this year ranking 12th in runs scored (4.3 per game), 12th in team batting average (.236), and 20th in OBP (.305). Manuel Margot has been brilliant out of the gate with a .348 average. He also leads the club with 21 RBIs. Brandon Lowe is the home run leader with five. The Rays went with a bullpen game on Saturday with six pitchers combining to go 9 innings an giving up 7 hits and 5 runs.
Just how ya draw it up 😅 pic.twitter.com/njB6fM3mJZ
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 15, 2022
The Rays will go with an opener in Springs as they look to piece together nine innings through their bullpen, a move they first invented that has been widely adopted by the rest of the league. Rays pitching ranks towards the middle of the pack with a 3.69 team ERA to this point. The staff figures to get a major boost with the return of rookie phenom Shane Baz at the start of June.
- The Blue Jays are 4-2 in Manoah's last six starts
- The under is 7-0 in Manoah's last seven road starts (via covers.com)
- The under is 6-0-2 in Tampa's last eight games vs AL East Opponents (via covers.com)