Fantasy MLB Baseball Preview
Toronto Blue Jays vs Tampa Bay Rays
It’s that time of the year where the highly anticipated MLB season will freshly begin. With not major changes made during the off season, the Toronto Blue Jays will be traveling to Tampa Bay to face the Rays. FanPicks is proud to bring you this Fantasy MLB Baseball preview. Come play in our MLB Grand Slam Contest where you can win up to a $1 million this week at FanPicks.
The 2016 campaign starts for the Toronto Blue Jays this Sunday, when they put their healthier Marcus Stroman to the mound for the first game of a3 game series with Tampa Bay.
Stroman only had 4 appearances last season because of an ACL injury but was undefeated with a 1.67 ERA. He returned this postseason with 3 starts on a 4.19 ERA. With David Price gone to the Red Sox, Stroman will have his starring role in the Blue Jays’ rotation.
The Blue Jays are still going to rely on their offense regardless of their pitching staff. They were terrorizing the plate last year and led the league in HR (232), runs scored (891), slugging % (.457) and on-base percentage (.797)
Josh Donaldson will be teaming up once more with his mates Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to pace their offense as they combined last season for 120 HR and 937 RBIs.
Justin Smoak however isn’t much of a hitter compared to the others but is a .316 career batting avg against the Ray’s starter Chris Archer.
The Jays are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Rays.
On the Rays side, there hasn’t been lots of changes over the offseason but they always remained competitive despite lacking established stars in their lineup.
Archer will be on the mound Sunday against a solid Blue Jays line. He’s proven before that he can handle Toronto’s offense in his young career as he held the Blue Jays in his career to .174 against him. Also, the heavy hitters trio of Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion are only 12 for 86 (.139) against Archer. If Archer can neutralize them again this Sunday, it will be a huge plus for the Rays, who don’t have a firepower that can match Toronto’s offense. They actually had a .245 Batting Avg at home last season, the 3rd worst in the majors.
Tampa Bay was just 25th last season in the MLB in runs (644), but were 14th in slugging % (.406).
Logan Forsythe and Evan Longoria will have to carry without a doubt the bulk of the Rays’ with some help of their newcomer Corey Dickerson, who hit .304 with 10 HR last year for the Rockies.
Tampa Bay is 6-4 in its last 10 home games against Toronto.
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