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Blue Jays vs Rays – 5/28/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Predictions

Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays MLB Baseball Tuesday, May 28, 2019 (7:10pm et) Current Odds: Tampa Bay -190, Total Runs 8.5

The visiting Toronto Blue Jays will get another chance to try to contain the top of the Tampa Bay Rays’ lineup Tuesday night.

Tampa Bay’s leadoff hitter, Austin Meadows, had three hits, including a home run, and three RBIs on Monday afternoon as the Rays won the opener of a three-game series 8-3. Meadows was coming off a 4-for-4 game with a homer and three RBIs in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Indians at Cleveland.

Tommy Pham, the Rays’ No. 2 hitter, had two doubles, a walk and an RBI Monday to extend his hit streak to 13 games.

The Blue Jays continued to struggle against the Rays, who lost two of three games in Toronto in April in the first series this season between the American League East rivals.

Over the past two seasons, the Rays are 16-7 against the Blue Jays — 8-2 at Tropicana Field — and have won the season series with Toronto in nine of the past 11 seasons.

As if playing at Tropicana Field is not difficult enough for the Blue Jays, the team is dealing with illness.

“It’s been like that for a week now,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “One guy gets it, spreads it to the other guy and so on. Everybody’s catching it right now.”

Rookie second baseman Cavan Biggio was moved to designated hitter on Monday because he was feeling ill. He went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Justin Smoak sat out Monday with the illness, although Montoyo, a coach with the Rays for the previous four seasons, said it was a planned day off for the first baseman anyway.

The Blue Jays also were playing the 14th of 16 straight games without a day off.

“It is what it is, no excuses,” Montoyo said. “It’s been a pretty good grind, especially with guys sick, but it is what it is.”

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The Rays, however, are in a stretch of 34 games in 34 days through June 23, with a day off June 3 followed by a June 8 doubleheader.

The Blue Jays will start left-hander Clayton Richard (0-0, 2.25 ERA) Tuesday while Tampa Bay will go with right-hander Ryne Stanek (0-1, 3.18) as the opener.

Stanek has made 22 appearances (14 starts, all as an opener) this season. He is 0-1 with a 1.64 ERA in his starts, allowing 13 hits in 22 innings.

Stanek was an opener in Toronto on April 12, striking out three in two perfect innings. He is 0-0 with a 2.19 ERA in 11 career outings (seven as an opener) against Toronto.

Richard, 35, will make his second start of the season after opening on the injured list with a knee issue.

Richard did not factor in the decision in his first start Thursday against the Boston Red Sox, allowing two hits and a run with two strikeouts and two walks in four innings.

He has faced the Rays three times (one start) in his career, all in 2009, and is 0-0 with a 0.79 ERA against them.

The Rays had a strong start Monday from Yonny Chirinos, who struck out seven and walked two in five hitless innings. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier made a superb catch at the wall in the fourth on Rowdy Tellez to preserve the hitless outing.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said it was not a difficult decision to remove Chirinos with a no-hitter. “Not at all,” Cash said. “We’re going to prioritize a guy’s health and be responsible with him.”

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