Blue Jays vs. Rays prediction and odds for Monday, May 22 (OVER is best bet)

May 21, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;  Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette (11) hits a single
May 21, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette (11) hits a single / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays start an early week series between two AL East contenders.

The Rays have been the best team in baseball, but no pitcher has been hotter than Chris Bassitt, who has responded to a slow start in his first season with the Blue Jays with three straights shutout starts spanning 23 innings.

Will Bassitt keep it up against the best offense in baseball? Can the Blue Jays offense show up and take advantage of the Rays leaky pitching staff?

Let's first check out the odds then find the best bet:

Blue Jays vs. Rays odds, run line and total

Blue Jays vs. Rays prediction and pick

This is a battle of two of the best in the game right now with Bassitt looking like an All-Star once again and the Rays offense far and away the best in baseball.

While the free agent signing is on a heater, his underlying metrics show concern with an expected ERA of more than a run higher (3.05 ERA vs. 4.37 xERA). The Rays lead baseball in on-base percentage and will test Bassitt. Further, the Blue Jays are slightly below average in terms of bullpen ERA, it's a matter of time before the Rays plate a handful of runs.

On the other side, though, expect the Blue Jays to keep up the pace. The Rays will hand the ball to Taj Bradley, a hard throwing right hander, who has made four starts in the big leagues.

He hasn't pitched past the sixth inning just yet despite not allowing more than three earned runs. It's a small sample size, so I can't make any sweeping conclusions other than Kevin Cash is keeping his guy on a short leash. However, the Rays bullpen checks in right around league average, decimal points ahead of the Blue Jays.

I give the edge to both offenses in a game with a low total, so I'll look to the over in a coin flip matchup.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.