Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays Predictions, Odds & Picks (October 17)
- Biggest game of the season
- Former teammates go head-to-head in pitcher’s matchup
- Likely candidates to step up in the batter’s box
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Astros vs Rays Odds
|Team||Run Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Houston Astros||-1.5 +165||O 8 -110||+105|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1.5 -200||U 8 -110||-118|
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Astros vs Rays Predictions and Picks
Managers always have quick hooks in game sevens. Every at-bat is analyzed. Every pitch magnified. It’s hard to see this getting away from either team. We expect a low scoring game, so we’re going to take the under. We also think the historic comeback will be complete, so we like the Astros money line.
Astros for the win +105
Betting record through 10/16/20 (48-44-1)
Rays are 7-3 in last 10 playoff games as a favorite
Rays are 42-17 in last 59 overall
Rays are 7-1 in their last eight Saturday games
Under is 7-1 in Rays last eight
Under is 5-1 in Rays last six games as a favorite
Under is 16-5-1 in Rays last 22 playoff games as a favorite
Under is 19-8 in Rays last 27 games on grass
Under is 18-7-2 in the last 27 meetings
Astros are 11-3 in last 14 games as an underdog
Astros are 38-14 in last 52 Saturday games
Under is 5-1 in Astros last six playoff games
How to Watch Astros vs Rays
|Astros vs Rays Information|
|What||Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays|
|Where||Petco Park, San Diego, CA|
|When||Saturday, October 17, 2020, 8:37 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TBS|
Everything on the Line
This is it. This is for all the marbles. Where the rubber meets the road. Where push comes to shove. The loser goes home and the winner goes on to the World Series! Okay, maybe this isn’t the final scene of ‘The Rookie of the Year’ but every part of the above statement is true.
No matter the outcome on Saturday, Houston has already made history. The Astros became the first team in MLB history to make the postseason with a losing record and now are just the second team in baseball history to force a game seven after falling behind 3-0 in a best of seven series. Outside of the 2004 Boston Red Sox, the other 37 teams in that scenario are 0-37.
But they’re not the only team in this game. While the Rays feel like they’re in freefall, they have the history of this season on their side. The Rays last four games in a row or more just once all season and that was a stretch in the first 10 games of the season. Tampa Bay is still the favorite in this game, despite how the past three days have gone.
McCullers vs Morton
The last time Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton both pitched in a game seven, they ended up in a dog pile in the middle of the field after the Astros beat the Dodgers in game seven of the 2017 World Series.
The two were teammates on that championship team and McCullers threw 2.1 shutout innings to open that contest while Morton threw the final four frames.
These two have faced off once this postseason with Morton getting the better of McCullers in a 4-2 victory in game two. Morton threw five shutout innings, giving up five hits and striking out five in that game. He had a similar outing in the ALDS, giving up just one run in five innings while striking out six against the Yankees. The Rays have won each of his past four starts and he’s gone exactly five innings in each one.
McCullers on other hand hasn’t been as fortunate. Houston has lost five of his last six starts including game two of the ALCS. However, he was stellar in that game, going seven innings, giving up just four hits and one earned run. That said, he gave up four total runs after a Jose Altuve error kept the inning alive before Manuel Margot belted a three-run shot.
In all, these are two pitchers you want with the ball in a do-or-die game.
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Who Will Come up With the Clutch Hit?
There’s going to be a hero. Somebody who writes his name in the record books. Someone who etches his name into his club’s history for the rest of the time. But who will it be?
The likely candidates for Houston seem to be George Springer, Jose Altuve or Carlos Correa. But if we’re looking for somebody slightly off the grid, we’ll say Michael Brantley. Brantley has been on a roll in the postseason, with hits in 11 of 12 games, including each of the last 10. Brantley is hitting .347 in the postseason, with an OBP over .400 and OPS over 1.000.
For the Rays, the easy pick would be Randy Arozarena. But since we’re picking someone who isn’t the simple choice, we will go with Manuel Margot. Not only did Margot hit two home runs in game six on Friday, but he also took McCullers deep in game two of the series when they last faced off.
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.