MLB Betting: Back the Jays to stun the Rays

A favorable pitching match-up should keep run production down when the Philadelphia Phillies visit the San Diego Padres on Monday. 

The Phillies’ Cliff Lee has been sharp all season with the clear evidence being his 9-2 record and his 2.53 ERA. That said, his history at Petco Park is even more impressive. 

In two starts there, he has a 1.93 ERA, allowing just 12 hits in 14 innings pitched. The Padres’ pitcher Eric Stults isn’t as big a name as Lee, but he’s been solid in 2013. He has a 3.25 ERA and has done his best work at home where he sports an even better 2.90 ERA. 

With Petco Park living up to its reputation as a pitcher’s park this year – according to ESPN’s Park Factors it’s the third-hardest venue to put up runs in the 30-team Major Leagues – it’s a good wager to opt for under 6.5 runs at 1.87.

I’m betting on little-known pitcher Esmil Rogers and a renewed Toronto Blue Jays line-up to carry the day at the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Rogers has turned into a happy surprise filler for the Jays rotation. He has an overall ERA of 3.14, but as a starter has been particularly impressive, logging a 2-0 record with a 1.71 ERA over four starts. 

He should continue that run against a Rays line-up that hasn’t had much success against him. Overall, Rays hitters have a cumulative .205 batting average and a .280 on base percentage in 50 plate appearances versus Rogers. 

The other major factor in this contest is Toronto’s overall recent play. They’ve reemerged in the American League East race with a great run in June and are currently riding a five game road winning streak. 

As a result, they should take care of their division rivals (against whom they already have a winning record this year). Go with the Jays at 1.95

Best Bet: Back the Toronto Blue Jays against the Tampa Bay Rays at 1.95

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