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MLB Odds: Rays in Wild Card Race and will take on Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays continue their week-long road trip with a visit to St. Petersburgh, Florida this Thursday for the first of four games against the Wild Card-chasing Tampa Bay Rays. The Jays have lost three straight games, and they’ll be up against a Rays’ team that is fighting for their playoff lives. At press, Tampa Bay has a slim one-game lead in the American League Wild Card race over the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians. While the Jays will miss out on playoff baseball this season, the games they’ll play against playoff-bound clubs down the stretch will be valuable experience for their young roster.

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One player that’s sure to benefit from some high-stakes experience is Thursday’s starter, Trent Thornton. The righty struggled in August, as he watched his ERA eclipse 5.00 for the first time since April. As a result, the Jays haven’t won in five straight of Thornton’s starts. He’ll be eager to show well in the final month of the season.

Thornton will be up against newly-minted Rays’ starter Austin Pruitt. Pruitt spent the majority of the season in the bullpen, but with injuries to the Rays’ rotation, the veteran was made a starter for his previous game. He’ll make his second straight start on Thursday at the Trop, so tune in to catch the first pitch at 7:10 PM ET.

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