Houston Astros (35-35) at Tampa Bay Rays (48-23)
MLB Baseball: Friday, October 16, 2020 at 6:07 pm (Petco Park)
Blake Snell (2-1) (2.37) vs. Framber Valdez (2-1) (2.00)
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -135 / Houston Astros +125 --- Over/Under: 8 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays meet Friday in MLB American League Championship Series action at Petco Park.
This will be Game 6 in a best-of-seven ALCS between the Astros and Rays. Tampa Bay holds a 3-2 series edge after winning the first three games 2-1, 4-2 and 5-2. Houston has bagged wins in the last two games however, taking a 5-4 victory Wednesday and eking out a 4-3 effort in Game 5 on Thursday. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
The Astros pulled off another tight one-run win in Game 5 on Thursday, despite getting out-hit by Tampa Bay 7-6. Houston had a 3-1 lead after three innings, but had to eke out the win in the bottom of the ninth all the same. Leading the offense was Michael Brantley with one hit and two RBI, while starting pitcher Luis Garcia posted 2.0 innings with no earned, two walks and one strikeout.
In Friday’s Game 6 matchup, the Astros will send Framber Valdez to the mound as the starter. This year in 11 games (10 starts), Valdez went 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA and 76 Ks in 70.2 innings. Over his postseason, Valdez is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three games (two starts) with 17 Ks in 18.0 innings.
Over on the Tampa Bay side, Game 5 starting pitcher John Curtiss made just one mistake in Game 5, allowing a solo homer in his 1.1 innings of work. Curtiss also managed a walk and two strikeouts in the no-decision. Leading the Rays hitters in the losing effort was Ji-Man Choi, who had two hits and a solo homer in the eighth inning.
In the Game 6 starting pitcher slot, Tampa Bay will send out Blake Snell. This season in 11 starts, Snell went 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA and 63 Ks in 50.0 innings. Over this postseason Snell is 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA in three games and 15 Ks in 15.2 innings.
The Astros are 9-3 in their last 13 playoff games as an underdog and 55-26 in their last 81 Friday games. Houston is 7-16 in their last 23 games overall as an underdog and the under is 4-0 in their last four as an underdog.
Meanwhile, the Rays are 4-2 in their last six playoff games and 5-3 in their last eight versus the American League West. Tampa Bay is 6-0 in their last six Friday games and 7-2 in the last nine playoff games as a favorite.
PICK: I’m still leaning Rays in this one. Tampa Bay has been the best team in the American League during this (admittedly weird) season, and should still take this series. The Rays have been the victims of a few uncharacteristic pitching mistakes and miscues at inopportune times and allowed the Astros to crawl back into this series. Tampa’s pitching staff is one of the most talented from top to bottom across the entire league, and with a little more production on offense I like the Rays to put the series away in Game 6.