MLB Picks: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays: April 17th 2012
MLB Picks: April 17th 2012
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -138
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Tampa Bay has had a brutal start to their season getting the Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers to begin. Jeff Niemann gets his second start of the year after giving up 3 runs and four hits to the Tigers in five innings. He has had his troubles historically with the Blue Jays going 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA in 11 career starts. Adam Lind (11-26) has had his way with the Rays’ starter. As a whole, the team is hitting .267 against Niemann. Toronto is scoring over 5 runs per game despite hitting just .231 as a unit. They are 3-3 at home in six games. Tampa Bay’s bullpen has been awful as a unit as their ERA is still above 10.00.
Ricky Romero is coming off his best effort against the Red Sox his last time out. He gave up 1 run and three hits in 8.3 innings of work in a 3-1 victory. Boston is a team that he has traditionally struggled with so it was a good sign for Romero that he pitched so well in that game. Romero is 5-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 10 career starts against Tampa Bay. Rays’ hitters are 23 for 141 all-time against the lefty. Struggling the most are Matt Joyce (0-12), Evan Longoria (5-20), Carlos Pena (1-10), Sean Rodriguez (1-15), Luke Scott (1-12) and BJ Upton (5-25). Tampa Bay’s offense has scored only 20 runs so far on their current 7-game road trip. They are hitting just over .220 in their last eight games. Toronto’s bullpen has been a question mark this year going 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA and four blown saves in five chances. But we expect Romero will go long enough in this game and limit the bullpen’s work. We recommend laying the price with the Blue Jays in this game tonight. -Steve Merril