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Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 6/18/18 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tampa Bay Rays (32-38) at Houston Astros (47-25)
Date & Time Monday June 18, 2018, 8:10 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Houston Astros -275 / Tampa Bay Rays +250 --- Over/Under: 7.5
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MLB | Tampa Bay Rays (32-38) at Houston Astros (47-25)
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Down at Minute Maid Park on Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros will be kicking off their MLB series. 

The Rays just finished up against the Yankees this weekend. Tampa lost the first three games of that set, then on Sunday avoided the sweep with a 3-1 win. 

For the Monday game, the Rays will be going with Ryne Stanek. Over his 17.2 innings and 1-1 mark this year, Stanek has a 2.55 ERA with 22 Ks. 

Tops in hitting for the Rays this year is Matt Duffy, who came out of the week with 68 hits, 18 runs and 20 RBI. On Sunday, Duffy had three hits and two RBI. 

Over on the Astros’ side, they’re fresh off a series versus the Royals. Houston took games one and two Friday and Saturday, then on Sunday the Astros won again 7-4. 

Houston will be going with Gerrit Cole in the Monday game. Over his 93.2 innings and 8-1 record this year, Cole has a 2.40 ERA with 130 Ks. 

Jose Altuve is the top hitter on the Astros’ team, and entered this week with 98 hits, 44 runs and 37 RBI. In the Sunday game Altuve logged a hit and a run. 

The Rays are 6-0 in their last six Monday games and 1-4 in their last five in game one of a series. The under is 6-2 in Tampa’s last eight in game one of a series and they’re 1-9 in their last 10 road games. 

Meanwhile, the Astros are 6-1 in their last seven home games following a road trip of a week or more and 17-7 in their last 24 Monday games. Houston is also 50-23 in their last 73 during game one of a series and the under is 16-7-1 in their last 24 in game one of a series. 

Cole has been pretty darn good this season. He’s leading the AL in Ks per nine innings with 12.49 and his opponents’ batting average is just .175. Cole has put up 12 quality starts in 14 attempts and hasn’t shown a lot of weaknesses. I’m going to go with the Astros here.

Houston Astros -275

Andrew has been with Sports Chat Place since 2012, contributing to football, baseball and basketball across the fantasy, college and professional ranks. His goal is to break down the complicated trends and numbers into a language that's accessible even if you're not a seasoned sports bettor, providing comprehensive insight that can apply to just about everyone. Follow Andrew on Twitter for links to his latest Sports Chat Place picks. 

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