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Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 7/31/17 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tampa Bay Rays (54-52) at Houston Astros (68-36)

MLB Baseball: Monday, July 31, 2017 at 8:10 pm (Minute Maid Park)

A Cobb (9-6) (3.46) vs. C Morton (8-4) (3.83)

The Line: Houston Astros -151 / Tampa Bay Rays +139 --- Over/Under: 9 See the Latest Odds

TV: Sun Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros meet on Monday in game one of their four game set from Minute Maid Park.

The Tampa Bay Rays will look to build on a 5-3 win in their series finale against the Yankees, salvaging a win and avoiding the four game sweep. Corey Dickerson led the way by going 1 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, with Trevor Plouffe, Wilson Ramos and Steven Souza Jr. added RBIs to round out the output for the Rays, while it was Souza Jr. who added a double to the cause. Peter Bourjos went 1 for 4 with a double of his own while Evan Longoria, Lucas Duda and Mallex Smith contributed base hits of their own in the win. Jacob Faria gave up all three runs on three hits while walking five and striking out eight, not factoring in the decision. Steve Cishek got the win to improve to 2-1 this season while Alex Colome notched his 30th save of the year. Alex Cobb will start the series opener and is 9-6 with a 3.46 ERA and 90 strikeouts this season. In his career, Cobb is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 18 strikeouts against Houston.

Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 7/31/17 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros will look to bounce back after dropping back-to-back games against the Tigers, including a 13-1 loss in the series finale on Sunday. Alex Bregman’s solo shot was the only run the Astros would put on the board, and the only extra base hit that the ‘Stros would put up in the loss. Jose Altuve went 2 for 4 while Derek Fisher, Josh Reddick, Evan Gattis and Nori Aoki each added a base hit in the losing effort. Lance McCullers Jr. gave up give runs on eight hits while walking and striking out four apiece over five innings of work, taking the loss to fall to 7-3 this season. Charlie Morton will start game one and is 8-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 92 strikeouts this season. In his career, Morton is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA and 17 strikeouts against Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay is 4-1 in Cobb’s last 5 starts against a team with a winning record and 3-8 in their last 11 games overall while the under is 3-1-1 in their last 5 games overall. Houston is 7-3 in Morton’s last 10 starts and 20-9 in their last 29 against the AL East while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 home games. Tampa Bay is 24-11 in the last 35 meetings between these two teams.

Cobb isn’t a world-beater by any means, but I think he is a much more reliable arm than Morton, who in my opinion is the most hittable arm in Houston’s rotation. Not to mention Morton hasn’t had any success against the Rays, albeit in a small sample size. But the Rays have had a lot of success in this matchup and in Houston, so I’ll take a stab with the Rays and the plus money to draw first blood here.

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