Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays
|Date & Time||Thursday March 28, 2019, 4:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -114 / Tampa Bay Rays +104 -- Over/Under: 6.5
The Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays meet Thursday in MLB action at Tropicana Field.
The Houston Astros are a lot healthier than they finished last season, as it was painful to see Jose Altuve hobbling around and Carlos Correa struggling with a back injury. When healthy, the Astros are probably the best lineup in baseball, capable of putting up crooked numbers any given inning and the lineup got even better with the underrated addition of Michael Brantley. It’s getting harder and harder to find an easy out in this Astros batting order, which is why they’re either first or second when it comes to odds to win the World Series. The Houston Astros have won each of their last six opening days. Justin Verlander gets the ball, and he was 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA and 290 strikeouts last season. Verlander is 8-5 with a 3.53 ERA and 133 strikeouts in his career against the Rays.
The Tampa Bay Rays quietly won 90 games last season and enter this year as a dark horse contender not only in the AL East but also for the AL pennant. The Rays may not have the star power as the other top teams in baseball, but they were third last year in team batting average (.258) and sixth in team ERA (3.74), making them one of the more balanced teams you will find. The Rays also beefed up the lineup a little with the addition of Avisail Garcia and the starting rotation got better with the signing of Charlie Morton. The Rays are going to be one of those good teams that you will find at favorable prices all year long, so make sure to keep an eye on this club. The Tampa Bay Rays have split their last six opening days. Blake Snell gets the ball, and he was 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and 221 strikeouts last season. Snell is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 44 strikeouts in his career against the Astros.
The Astros are 40-14 in their last 54 road games, 18-3 in Verlanders last 21 road starts and 7-1 in Verlanders last 8 starts. The Rays are 39-14 in their last 53 home games, 16-5 in Snells last 21 home starts and 22-7 in Snells last 29 starts. The Astros are 5-14 in the last 19 meetings in Tampa Bay and 3-7 in the last 10 meetings. The under is 12-3-2 in Snells last 17 starts overall. The under is 7-3 in Astros last 10 road games.
As I mentioned previously, the Tampa Bay Rays are going to be one of those good teams that you'll be able to get at favorable prices all year long simply due to the lines not being drowned in public money. The Rays just aren't a public, sexy team. However, getting the Houston Astros and Verlander at this cheap of a price is always a steal and I don't care who is on the other side. Any time I can get the Astros and one of the top pitchers in the sport under -150, I'm all over it. For obvious reasons, of course.