Blue Jays vs. Rays: Who comes out on top of a position-by-position breakdown?

Graeme Wallace
Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Carlson/GettyImages
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Outfield

There could be plenty of highlight-reel catches during the season series between these two teams. The Jays shifted their outfield by bringing in Kevin Kiermaier and Daulton Varsho which will allow George Springer to slide over to right field which is probably where he belongs at this stage of his career.

Manuel Margot is the wily veteran of the Rays group at 28 years of age and he’s been of the better defensive outfielders over the last several years. Jose Siri showed some pop (22 XBH in 325 Abs) and has tremendous range in center. The Rays obviously have confidence in his abilities to let Kiermaier walk in free agency. Randy Arozarena is best hitter and the worst defender of the trio.

Advantage: Blue Jays

Rotation

If Tyler Glasnow can return to the form that he showed prior to his injury in 2021, he’d pair very nicely with Shane McClanahan atop the Rays rotation. Zach Eflin was signed in free agency, and Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs round out the Rays five.

Toronto beefed up its rotation with the addition of Chris Bassitt, but after that they’re still relying on a José Berríos turnaround, which is no sure thing.

Advantage: Rays

Bullpen

The Jays added to their bullpen by trading for Erik Swanson, who’s coming off a terrific season. Adding him to a relief corps that includes Jordan Romano, Yimi García, Adam Cimber, Anthony Bass, Trevor Richards, and Tim Mayza improves an already solid unit.

However, comparing it to a Rays’ stable that features Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks, Colin Poche, Jalen Beeks, Ryan Thompson, and Shawn Armstrong, the Blue Jays will be hard-pressed to come back late against this team.

Advantage: Rays

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