Blue Jays open as home favourites in series with Rays

Sportsnet's Hazel Mae and Shi Davidi discuss what the big picture is for the Blue Jays down the stretch, and what they will need to do to hold onto their playoff spot.

The Toronto Blue Jays will be looking to maintain their current torrid offensive pace when they return home to begin a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday as opening -141 betting favourites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by

Toronto continued to rack up the runs with a crushing 22-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon, and has now averaged 14.7 runs per game during the three-game win streak the team takes into Monday night's matchup at Rogers Centre.

That marked the Blue Jays' highest-scoring three-game stretch this season, and extended a spectacular run that has seen the team win 14 of its past 16 contests to re-enter the race for a wild card spot for a second straight season. Toronto is now neck-and-neck with AL East division rivals New York and Boston in the AL wild card race, and enjoys the benefit of playing 12 of its final 19 regular season contests on home turf. That has contributed to the Blue Jays' dramatic rise on the World Series odds, where they now sit as a +2000 wager.

The Blue Jays' high-scoring ways also extend to their current play on home turf; the team has averaged 8.5 runs scored per game during a four-game winning streak. However, they have also surrendered at least seven runs in three of their past seven home dates, fueling a 4-3 run for the OVER at betting sites during that stretch.

But the Blue Jays have work to do to overcome their recent disappointing results against the AL East-leading Rays. Toronto has tallied consecutive wins just once while going 5-8 in 13 meetings with the Rays this season. That includes a 2-5 record in seven dates on home turf that dumped the team to 7-13 in 20 clashes with Tampa Bay at Rogers Centre since September 2018.

The Rays' September struggles provide the Blue Jays with an opportunity to flip the script on their shaky record when these two teams meet. Tampa Bay closed out a three-game weekend series in Detroit on Sunday with an 8-7 loss to the Tigers, and has produced a middling 5-6 record in its past 11 overall outings. The Rays have also surrendered an uncharacteristically high 6.5 runs per game over their past six outings, but still maintain a 44-28 road record that remains tops in the American League.

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