Houston Astros (34-32) at Tampa Bay Rays (45-22)
MLB Baseball: Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 7:37 pm (Petco Park)
Framber Valdez vs. Blake Snell
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -146 / Houston Astros +136 --- Over/Under: 8.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays meet Sunday night in game one of the American League ALCS MLB playoffs at Petco Park.
The Houston Astros are coming off a four-game series win over the Oakland Athletics. The Houston Astros are in the ALCS for the fourth consecutive season. The Astros were an offensive machine against the A’s, averaging 8.25 runs through four games and topping double-digit run totals twice. While the pitching isn’t as good as it was last season, the Astros are a legit World Series threat if the offense produces at that level consistently. The Astros have won 10 of their last 17 games when scoring four or more runs. Carlos Correa leads the Astros with 10 hits and 12 RBI while Kyle Tucker and Michael Brantley have combined for 19 hits and 11 RBI. Framber Valdez gets the ball, and he was 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA and 76 strikeouts this season. Valdez is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and nine strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a five-game series win over the New York Yankees. The Tampa Bay Rays are in the ALCS for the first time since 2008 when they made the World Series. The Rays held an explosive Yankees lineup to just one run and three hits in game five, and they’ve allowed five or less runs in six of their first seven playoff games. The Rays have won 16 of their last 20 games when allowing five or less runs. The Rays pitching staff was third in ERA and fifth in WHIP, and it’s why they’re a legit World Series contender. Randy Arozarena leads the Rays with 12 hits and four RBI while Joey Wendle and Kevin Kiermaier have combined for 11 hits and four RBI. Blake Snell gets the ball, and he was 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA and 63 strikeouts this season. Snell is 1-2 with a 2.81 ERA and 20 strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Astros are 5-1 in their last 6 playoff games, 4-1 in their last 5 games as an underdog and 42-10 in their last 52 games following an off day. The Rays are 8-2 in their last 10 games following an off day, 4-0 in their last 4 playoff games as a favorite and 39-14 in their last 53 overall. The over is 8-3 in Astros last 11 games following an off day. The over is 12-4-1 in Rays last 17 Sunday games. The Astros are 7-19 in the last 26 meetings in Tampa Bay. The over is 5-2-1 in the last 8 meetings.
Snell is well rested and he's been solid all season, and the Astros probably don't have a starting pitcher who you would take over him in this spot. However, the Rays also ran through their bullpen quite a bit in game five against the Yankees on Friday, and the Astros have hit Snell hard. Through 77 at bats against current Astros, Snell is allowing a .282 batting average with six home runs and 10 walks. The Houston Astros are also putting up ridiculous offensive numbers in these playoffs, so it's hard to step in front of them no matter who the pitchers are on the other side. At plus money, I have to lean toward the Astros.