Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Tampa Bay at Toronto
When: 4:07 PM ET, Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Tampa Bay Rays produced a loud answer to a dispiriting loss and look to build off that effort when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon for the third of a four-game set between American League East rivals. The Rays damaged their slim hopes for a wild-card spot by coughing up a six-run lead in the ninth inning Friday but responded with 15 hits in an 11-3 rout just 24 hours later.

Austin Meadows, who was acquired from Pittsburgh on Aug. 31 in the Chris Archer deal, went 3-for-3 with three RBIs in his second game with Tampa Bay on Friday as the Rays went 8-for-21 with runners in scoring position. Tyler Glasnow looks to make up for his last appearance in Toronto when he gave up seven runs and did not get out of the first inning when he takes the mound Saturday, while the Blue Jays counter with impressive rookie left-hander Thomas Pannone. Toronto could take a lead despite scoring three runs in the first four innings Friday and lost for just the second time in its past seven contests. Rookie infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered in three straight at-bats bridging the first two games of this series, including a two-run shot in the ninth-inning rally Thursday, and is 10-for-25 with seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak for the Blue Jays.

TV: 4:07 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), Sportsnet (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Tyler Glasnow (2-6, 4.22 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH Thomas Pannone (3-1, 3.77)

Glasnow rebounded from his worst start as a Ray with two strong outings, including Monday when he limited Texas to two hits over six scoreless innings for the win. The 25-year-old Californian has held opponents to two or fewer runs in six of his nine starts since being acquired from Pittsburgh. Aledmys Diaz and Randal Grichuk each own homers versus Glasnow, who also gave up one run over five innings in a no-decision at Toronto on Aug. 12 in his third start with Tampa Bay.

Pannone earned victories over a pair of playoff-bound teams in his last two starts, beating the New York Yankees and Cleveland while permitting four runs across 13 1/3 innings combined. The 24-year-old Rhode Island native has posted three quality starts in four tries this year but served up five homers in those contests. Joey Wendle has a double in two at-bats against Pannone, who has given up two runs on four hits over 2 2/3 innings in relief versus the Rays this year.

WALK-OFFS

1. Toronto 1B Rowdy Tellez is batting .372 with eight doubles and nine RBIs in 15 games since being recalled Sept. 4.

2. Tampa Bay OF Tommy Pham (six RBIs) and INF Wendle (six doubles) are both 11-for-21 during five-game hitting streaks.

3. Rays DH Ji-Man Choi went 2-for-3 on Friday before leaving the game due to left knee soreness and is day-to-day.

PREDICTION: Rays 6, Blue Jays 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Tampa Bay 86-67 W1 48-26 38-41 37-30 21-11 21-13 7-13
Toronto 70-84 L1 38-38 32-46 28-43 18-15 11-19 13-7
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Toronto
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/21/18 TB 11 TOR 3 .375 0 1.040 .212 3 .720
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay M. Smith .289 13 .873
Toronto T. Hernandez .205 8 .657
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay J. Choi 2 6 3
Toronto L. Gurriel Jr. 4 5 6
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 2.77 .258 110
Toronto 4.59 .204 111
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay J. Wendle .302 139 .793
Toronto K. Pillar .247 121 .696
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay C. Cron 27 64 68
Toronto J. Smoak 25 65 77
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 3.63 .261 1328
Toronto 4.87 .244 1241