Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Toronto at Tampa Bay
When: 6:10 PM ET, Saturday, September 29, 2018
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

Blake Snell gets one more chance to add to his impressive Cy Young resume when the Tampa Bay Rays host the Toronto Blue Jays in the second of a three-game set between American League East rivals Saturday. Snell has won nine starts in a row to set a franchise record with 21 victories and boasts a 1.11 ERA since his last loss on July 12 to help the young Rays stay in the playoff race until the final week of the season.

Tampa Bay (88-72) has cooled off this week, losing four of five games, and needs to win its final two outings of the regular season to reach 90 victories for the first time since 2013, while Rays outfielder Tommy Pham has reached base in 30 straight contests. Toronto continues to play out the string on a disappointing campaign, although it has won back-to-back games, and manager John Gibbons leads the team for the last time this weekend before he will be let go by the organization. The Blue Jays, who are 6-11 against Tampa Bay this season, rallied from an early three-run deficit to pull out a 7-6 victory Friday in the series opener as Teoscar Hernandez and Rowdy Tellez each launched homers. Tellez is batting .317 with four homers and 13 RBIs - three and eight against the Rays - in 21 games since being recalled.

TV: 6:10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH Ryan Borucki (4-5, 3.76 ERA) vs. Rays LH Blake Snell (21-5, 1.90)

Borucki has strung together four straight quality starts in September but managed just a 1-2 record despite a 1.98 ERA during the month. The 24-year-old Illinois native held Tampa Bay to four runs on six hits and six walks over 13 innings in two September starts, but lost both of them - including Sunday against Snell. Joey Wendle is 1-for-4 with a double and two walks against Borucki, who is 2-2 with a 4.82 ERA on the road as opposed to 2-3 and 2.64 at home.

Snell has allowed three hits over 11 2/3 scoreless innings with 17 strikeouts and two walks against the Blue Jays this season - both starts coming in the last two months. The 25-year-old Washington native is 10-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 13 home starts during 2018 and owns 60 walks across 175 2/3 innings this year after issuing 59 in 129 1/3 frames in 2017. Kevin Pillar is 5-for-14 with two doubles versus Snell, who leads the majors with a .178 opponents’ batting average.

WALK-OFFS

1. Toronto INF Richard Urena had three hits Friday and is 10-for-19 over his last six games.

2. Tampa Bay 1B/DH C.J. Cron needs one homer to reach 30 for the first time and owns an RBI in his last three games.

3. Blue Jays SS Aledmys Diaz, who was rested Friday, is batting .294 since the All-Star Game after hitting .240 before the break.

PREDICTION: Rays 6, Blue Jays 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Toronto 73-87 W2 40-41 33-46 30-44 18-15 12-21 13-7
Tampa Bay 88-72 L2 49-30 39-42 39-35 21-11 21-13 7-13
Last Meeting
Toronto Tampa Bay
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/28/18 TOR 7 TB 6 .324 2 1.040 .324 1 .900
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto T. Hernandez .222 10 .765
Tampa Bay M. Smith .300 18 .892
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto L. Gurriel Jr. 4 5 7
Tampa Bay J. Choi 2 6 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.54 .221 135
Tampa Bay 3.07 .254 141
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto K. Pillar .248 126 .699
Tampa Bay J. Wendle .300 145 .790
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto J. Smoak 25 67 77
Tampa Bay C. Cron 29 66 73
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.82 .244 1290
Tampa Bay 3.76 .258 1396