Houston Astros (38-40) vs Tampa Bay Rays (52-28)Date : 06/28/2018
Time : 7:10 pm EST
Location : Tropicana Field, Tampa, Florida
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays
Game 1 of a 4-game series between the visiting Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays will begin on Thursday night at 7:10 pm EST at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. The Astros continue to occupy the top spot within the competitive AL West division while the Rays are now in 3rd place within the AL East division. In their last outing, the Astros were 6-3 losers to the Toronto Blue Jays on 6-25-2018 behind the pitching of JA Happ (10-3) who pitched 7 innings while allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, 1 homer, and 4 strikeouts in the win while Teoscar Hernandez (3-5) and Curtis Granderson (2-4) provided the offensive spark while Justin Smoak was 1-4 with 2 RBI’s. The losing pitcher in this contest was Justin Verlander (9-3) who went 6.2 innings while allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 devastating homers, and 6 strikeouts with an ERA of 1.82. Yuli Gurreil (2-4) and Alex Bregman (2-4) combined for 3 RBI’s in the loss. Toronto cashed in heavily on the money line as huge underdogs (+210) while the over was the play in that the total was set at 7 runs for the game.
In their last outing, the Nationals were taken advantage of by an 11-0 score by the Tampa Bay Rays in game 1 of a 2-game set on 6-25-2018. Gio Gonzales took the loss as he pitched his shortest outing of the year in going 1 inning while allowing 6 runs on 3 hits5 walks, 1 homer and 2 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.68. The Nationals continued to struggle at the plate as they could only muster two hits for the game by Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto. Blake Snell (10-4) picked up the win as he pitched 7.1 innings while allowing no runs on only 1 hit4 walks, and 10 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.31. The Rays cashed in on the money line as slight favorites (-115) while the over was the play in that the total was set at 7 runs for the game.
This will be the 2nd meeting of the year amongst these two teams as they met most recently at Minute Maid field where the Astros took 2 of 3 from the Rays on 6-20-2018.
Houston Astros's Latest Performance :
The Houston Astros have won 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 2-3. Recently, the Astros would win a 3-game home set versus the Rays on 6-20-2018 while wining yet another 3-game home set versus the Kansas City Royals on 6-24-2018. Houston would also lose 6-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays on 6-25-2018 in game 1 of a 3-game home set.
For the season, Houston is averaging 5.15 runs per game (2nd) with a team batting average of .264 (1st), 100 homers (8th), along with 38 stolen bases on the year (14th). Their pitching staff ranks lowest in MLB stats with an ERA of 2.85 (1st) with 838 strikeouts (1st) along with 58 quality starts (1st).
Jose Altuve (.343 BA on 318 AB), Carlos Correa (.268 BA on 269 AB), Josh Reddick (258 BA on 178 AB), and Alex Bregman (.263 BA on 297 AB) has spearheaded the Astros offense throughout the year. George Springer (.265 BA on 310 AB) has also been a solid contributor for the Astros at the plate.
Charlie Morton (9-1) has been consistent this year for Houston pitching 88.2 innings while allowing only 30 runs on 63 hits, 11 homers, 37 walks, and 109 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.74 while Justin Verlander (9-3) has pitched 113.2 innings thus far while allowing 25 runs on 69 hits, 11 homers, 23 walks, and 136 strikeouts with an ERA of 1.82. Lance McCullers (8-3) has also been solid as he has pitched 94.1 innings while allowing 44 runs on 76 hits, 10 homers, 36 walks, 99 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.83.
Tampa Bay Rays 's Latest Performance :
The Tampa Bay Rays have won 4 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 2-3. Recently, the Rays would lose a 3-game road set to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid field on 6-20-2018 by losing game 3 by a score of 5-1. They would go on to sweep the New York Yankees at home on 6-24-2018 while also winning game 1 of a 2-game home set versus the Nationals on 6-25-2018.
The Rays are averaging 3.99 runs per game (24th) with a team batting average of .252 (9th), 73 homers (26th), along with 45 stolen bases on the year (8th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.77 (11th) with 646 strikeouts (20th) and 21 quality starts (30th).
Mallex Smith (.275 BA on 233 AB), Joey Wendle (.262 BA on 214 AB) Adeiny Hechavarria (.276 BA on 152 AB) spearhead the offensive attack from the plate for the O’s while C.J. Cron (.235 BA on 281 AB), Matt Duffy (.318 BA on 245 AB), and Denard Span (.238 BA on 143 AB) are also critical to the Baltimore offense.
Blake Snell (10-4) has pitched 101.1 innings this season and allowed 28 runs on 65 hits, 11 homers, 40 walks, and 113 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.31.
How Houston Astros & Tampa Bay Rays Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
For the season, the Astros are 44-36 ATS while the O/U is 37-39-4. On the other hand, the Rays are 46-32 ATS while the O/U is 34-41-3.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
The pitchers for either game have not been announced for this series. With that being said, there are many telling recent stats that can point one in several different directions to which this series could possibly steer. Houston has indeed had the upper hand in this series in the past. Currently, they enter this matchup averaging 4.6 runs per game while their pitching is surrendering 2.8 runs during this time. On the other hand, the Rays’ pitching staff has allowed 2.2 runs to their opponents in their last 5 games while the offense has put up an average of 5 runs per game. Expect this to be an interesting matchup to where each team will be focused on maintaining their current division position, or, advancing within their respective division, altogether.
Against The Spread Selection: Picks: Game 1: Houston Astros, Game 2: Tampa Bay Rays
My reason for the pick :
While the Rays have picked up some momentum recently, the Astros continue to play outstanding baseball as well. It is for this reason, along with the fact that the Astros have played less than stellar at home lately, that I will back the Astros to come out strong in game 1 to get the huge win over a surging Tampa Bay Rays team that have won 6 of their last 8 games. Expect the experienced Houston pitching staff to really challenge this pitching staff for the Rays and coming out with a slim victory in the opener of this series on Thursday.
The Rays will certainly gain some confidence against eh Astros in game 1 and will take this momentum into game 2 and will ultimately get the win. it would be important to mention that the Rays would win a 4-game set at Tropicana Field against the Astros on 7-31-2017 and have possess quite a bit of success against the champs at home. With that being said, I expect the overall resiliency of this Rays team to shine through once again as the Rays will squeak out an all-important victory against the Astros on Friday.
Totals Selection: Picks: Game 3, Game 4: Under
My reason for the prediction :
With the way in which both of these pitching staffs have performed lately, I will certainly be keying in on the under not only for games 1 and 2, but, also for the final 2 games of this set as well. Also, consider the pitchers within these lineups along with the under being the result in a combined 14 of their last 19 games, I expect these two matchups to, once again, be an instance to where not many runs will be scored. In all, a competitive, defensive minded contest that will be won on the mound will ensue, thus causing the under to be the play.
Betting trends for Houston Astros:
- Betting Trends for Houston Astros
- The Astros are 12-2 in last 14 road games
- The Over is 9-2 in Astros last 11 road games
- The Astros are 15-2 in last 17 games
Betting trends for Tampa Bay Rays :
- Betting Trends for Tampa Bay Rays
- The Rays are 7-1 in last 8 home games
- The Rays are 5-2 in last 7 games
- The Under is 4-1 in Rays last 5 home games