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Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 6/19/18 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tampa Bay Rays (33-38) at Houston Astros (48-25)
Date & Time Tuesday June 19, 2018, 8:10 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Houston Astros -255 / Tampa Bay Rays +220 --- Over/Under: 7.5
TV Channel
Sun Sports, ATT-SW
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MLB | Tampa Bay Rays (33-38) at Houston Astros (48-25)
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros duke it out in game two of their three game set from Minute Maid Park in MLB action on Tuesday. 

The Tampa Bay Rays will look to rebound after losing four of their last five games, including a 5-4 loss in game one on Monday. Wilson Rams and Joey Wendle each had two RBIs, with Ramos going 1 for 3 with a home run. Jake Bauers added a double and Carlos Gomez added a base hit of his own as T-Bay mustered up just four hits as a team in the losing effort. Seven different pitchers saw the mound for the Rays, with Sergio Romo taking the loss, falling to 1-2 this season with his 4th blown save of the year. Blake Snell will start game two and is 8-4 with a 2.58 ERA and 97 strikeouts this season. In his career, Snell is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA and 12 strikeouts against Houston.

The Houston Astros will look to stay hot after making it 12 wins in a row with their walk-off win in game one. Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel each had two RBIs, with Bregman going 1 for 5 with a double. Josh Reddick added a base hit as well to cap off Houston’s scoring in the winning effort. Jose Altuve went 3 for 4 with a double and Carlos Correa added a two-bagger of his own, while Marwin Gonzalez, Max Stassi and Tony Kemp each had a base knock in the victory as well. Gerrit Cole gave up all four runs on three hits while walking five and striking out eight, not factoring in the decision. Collin McHugh picked up the W to climb to 2-0 this season. Justin Verlander will start game two and is 9-2 with a 1.61 ERA and 120 strikeouts this season. In his career, Verlander is 8-3 with a 3.29 ERA and 97 strikeouts against Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay is 8-1 in Snell’s last 9 starts against the AL West and 1-4 in their last 5 games overall while the under is 12-3-1 in their last 16 road games. Houston is 19-6 in Verlander’s last 25 starts and 23-5 in their last 28 home games against a team with a losing road record while the over is 6-0 in their last 6 home games. The over is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings between these two teams.

Heavy plus money with Tampa Bay with Snell on the mound is tempting, considering you never get a staff ace or second best pitcher with 8 wins at this kind of plus money this early in the year. However, Verlander is on another level right now, pitching Cy Young worthy baseball. It also doesn’t hurt that the Astros are white hot right now, and that Verlander has solid career numbers against the Rays. It was a narrow Houston win on Monday, but I see the Astros breaking it open on Tuesday, winning by a couple of runs in the process.

Houston -1.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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