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Storms Awaiting Blue Jays’ All-Stars With Rays In Town To Open Second Half

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 7/18/2013 7:21:16 PM

A beautiful week of weather in Toronto means that the Rogers Centre roof would have been open, had only it not been the All-Star break. However, thunderstorms are expected to greet the four Blue Jays’ All-Star players in their return, with the Tampa Bay Rays also waiting in anticipation of a three-game online sports betting series. Toronto sports fans are still talking about the potential to make a run for a playoff spot, which would be much more realistic for Rays’ fans to be talking about if there really was more of them.

Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays
Friday, 7:07 PM ET

The fact that Tampa Bay has been able to contend for a playoff spot in each of the past few years is testament to the incredible job done by general manager Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon. Friedman has assembled a legitimate contender despite severe financial restraints, while Maddon has been able to squeeze as much as possible out of the talent at his disposal. The Rays biggest name will take the mound for Friday’s series opener, but David Price has struggled this season with just three wins and a 3.94 ERA. However, Price picked it up right before the break after missing some time, allowing just three earned runs combined over his final three starts – which included two complete-game performances. The top of the Blue Jays’ rotation has struggled, but Esmil Rogers has been one of the few bright spots as he has led Toronto to wins in seven of his last nine appearances. The Blue Jays are feeling a real sense of urgency right now, and it should translate in to stealing a sports betting win in this series opener at good value.

MLB Betting Pick: Toronto Blue Jays - 130

Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays
Saturday, 1:07 PM ET

Rogers has provided the steady presence that some of Toronto’s bigger names haven’t, and that includes Mark Buehrle. Buehrle is just 5-6 with a 4.89 ERA after the Blue Jays lost three of the last four games he started, including a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay in which he allowed four earned runs on eight hits in just five innings of work. Jeremy Hellickson has thrived as one of the young arms in the Rays’ rotation with an 8-3 record. The 26-year old will look to pick up from where he left off in the first half as Tampa Bay looks for its sixth win in as many starts by Hellickson.

MLB Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays
Sunday, 1:07 PM ET

The online sportsbook series wraps up with another intriguing match up, as the reigning National League Cy Young award winner RA Dickey starts opposite another rising Rays’ star in Chris Archer. Dickey has struggled with injuries and inconsistency at the top of the Blue Jays’ rotation, but his best performance of the season came in a two-hit complete game shutout of Tampa Bay just a couple of weeks ago. The 24-year old Archer has been excellent of late positing a 3-0 record over five-straight starts in which the Rays have won. However, that could make him overdue for a loss, especially if Dickey comes up with another brilliant performance.

MLB Betting Pick: Toronto Blue Jays - 140

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