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Rays vs. Blue Jays Game 1 Tips: Gausman and McClanahan seem destined to duel

Two viable Cy Young contenders meet at the mound in Game 1 of a doubleheader between the Blue Jays and Rays on Saturday.

The pre-game narration: Toronto’s Kevin Gausman hit 10 batters in seven shutout innings his last time out, while Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan fanned out 10 over seven innings of a one-run ball. A Game 1 win would give the Blue Jays a series win.

Check out our top Rays vs. Blue Jays Game 1 picks for July 2nd.

Rays vs. Blue Jays selection overview

  • Ray’s money line, first five innings (+123)
  • Rays under 3.5 runs (-129)
  • Under 3.5 runs, first five innings (-105)

Rays vs. Blue Jays picks

Best Bet: Ray’s Moneyline, F5 (+123)

McClanahan’s version that we saw last year was relatively raw. This year’s version is extremely sophisticated.

McClanahan changed his pitch mix ahead of his sophomore season, demoting the slider from his top secondary pick to #4 on the depth chart. Meanwhile, far nastier curveballs and changeups began to appear.

Field statistics 2021 Pitch% B.A wOBA
curveball 16.3 .202 .212
modification 8.0 .393 .480
Field statistics 2022 Pitch% B.A wOBA
curveball 25.5 .133 .162
modification 22.6 .136 .120

McClanahan had solid stats against the Blue Jays last season, with a 3.14 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. But the way he throws, he could be even harder on them now. He leads the AL with a 1.77 ERA, which has helped him climb to second place in the AL Cy Young ratings.

Continue reading: Odds of winning the AL Cy Young

Gausman is pretty good too, of course. His 1.70 FIP is the best in baseball and he’s off to his best start in more than a month. Still, he took the F5 loss when he faced the Rays in May.

Runs should have a premium on both sides, but we’ll take the plus money value on the rays side. The Blue Jays will get their first look at McClanahan around 2022, and they likely won’t enjoy what they see.

Key Stats: McClanahan has a 12.12 K/9 (second in MLB) and a breath rate in the 97th percentile and an expected ERA in the 95th percentile.

Quick selection

Rays under 3.5 runs (-129): While we appreciate the Rays’ chances of winning the first half of the game, we don’t expect them to rack up the runs. Tampa Bay has fallen below that number in four straight games and has averaged just 3.4 runs over the past 10 games.

Oh, and Gausman’s numbers against this lineup are very, very good:

PA B.A wOBA SLG K%
42 .167 .203 .310 26.2%

Under 3.5 runs, F5 (-105): Even with Friday’s offensive breakout for the Blue Jays, the F5 is down 4-1 in games between those sides in 2022.

We’ve made our case for the excellence of both starters, particularly in terms of how Gausman fared against this lineup and how McClanahan fared overall. Don’t count on a lot of action early on.

Odds as of 9:25am ET on 07/02/22.

JH

Jordan Horrobin writes about sports betting for NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is owned by NordStar Capital, which also owns Torstar, Star’s parent company. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanHorrobin

Disclaimer This content was created as part of a partnership and as such may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.

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