Rick’s MLB Plays 8/2

Toronto Blue Jays @ Tampa Bay Rays (7:10 ET)

Favorite: Blue Jays -150

Total: 7

Pitchers: Kevin Gausman (3.30 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) vs. Drew Rasmussen (3.17 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Toronto travels all the way down to Florida for a quick but vital 2-game series against their divisional rival before flying up to Minnesota. On the back of a 12-3 streak that is credited largely to poor competition (11 games against Detroit, Kansas City, and Boston), the Blue Jays have secured themselves atop the Wild Card standings 3 games ahead of the Rays. Looking to add on to that lead they throw the very solid Kevin Gausman. While he’s had phenomenal stretches throughout the first half of the year, he’s actually been poor as of late. He’s allowed 10 runs over his last 15.2 innings on 22 hits and even though the Rays have been struggling they’re always an opportunistic team. They have good moxie, leadership, and are getting healthy. They landed 9th in OPS over July even with numerous injuries including Mike Zunino, Francisco Mejia, Wander Franco, Kevin Kiermaier, and Manuel Margot and should be getting a handful of those guys back soon. Their team total is an overreaction to Gausman’s solid season and I’ll capitalize on that with the Rays at home.

Pick: Rays TT o3 -105 (1u)

Denis Poroy - Tampa Bay Times

Milwaukee Brewers @ Pittsburgh Pirates (7:05 ET)

Favorite: Brewers -270

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Corbin Burnes (2.31 ERA, 0.92 WHIP) vs. Bryse Wilson (6.31 ERA, 1.60 WHIP)

Yesterday we abused the pitching matchup of Scherzer against Corbin and today we’ll do similarly with Burnes vs Wilson. Burnes is back on his A-game with a 2 ERA over the course of July. He goes so hard for strikeouts he has the tendency to walk batters but rarely at any cost as he gets out of jams with the best of them. Factor in that he’s facing the worst offense over the past two weeks by a wide margin and one of the worst in baseball and he’s bound to allow a maximum of one run through five innings. Bryse Wilson has been better since returning from injury but is no match for an offense that has been on fire ranking 4th in OPS over July. Don’t get toofancy with this one, I’ll Isolate the first five innings and take the Brewers to be leading as we get towards the bullpens.

Pick: Brewers F5 -.5 -145 (1u)

Benny Sieu - USA TODAY Sports

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