Date/Time: September 29th, 1:07 PM ET
Television: MLB Network
Probable Starters: Moore (Tampa Bay) vs. Redmond (Toronto)
Moneyline: Rays -125
The entire season is up in the air for the Tampa Bay Rays, as they duke it out with the Toronto Blue Jays. A win at least guarantees the Rays one more game, but a loss, and they very well could be headed home for the rest of the campaign.
The equation is painfully simple for Tampa Bay. Win, and there’s another day of baseball. Lose, and it’s time to watch the scoreboard. The Rays have a few possible scenarios here. A win, a Texas loss, and a Cleveland loss, and Tampa Bay will host the Wild Card game against Cleveland on Wednesday. A win, a Texas win, and a Cleveland loss, and it’s off to Cleveland for the first game of a three-way tiebreaker where the winner gets in and the loser has to go to Arlington on Tuesday to take on the Rangers in a winner-takes-all game. A loss and a Texas loss, or wins by all three teams, and the Rays are going to Arlington to take on the Rangers for the right to play the Indians in the Wild Card game. A loss and a Texas win, and Tampa Bay is out.
Manager Joe Maddon is calling on LHP Matt Moore in this game, and why not? The southpaw has clearly been the best that the Rays have had all season long, as he has led the team to a 20-6 record in his 26 starts this year. Moore has a 3.23 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, and if there is a man that has to win a must-win game for the team, this is the one you’d want to call on. Moore started four days ago against the New York Yankees and went five innings, allowing just three hits without allowing a run in a 7-0 victory.
The Jays have nothing to play for but to be the spoiler in this one, and that’s not exactly a role that you’d figure the team would want to be in. This is the only series that Toronto has won in quite some time, and the fact of the matter is that this disappointing of a season is what gets managers fired. RHP Todd Redmond will start in this game, and that’s definitely a mixed bag for the Jays. Redmond has only pitched 76.1 innings this year, going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA. He hasn’t pitched in a lot of big games like this one, but he did allow just one run in six frames in his last start against the Rays back on August 18th.
Tampa Bay feels like it is choking at this point, but we have to think that with Moore on the mound, things are going to be alright for the visitors. They’ll at least live to see one more day with a victory in this one on Sunday.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -125
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.