Dallas Keuchel (8-12, 4.64 ERA) and the Houston Astros (67-61) meet Blake Snell (4-6, 3.17 ERA) and the Tampa Bay Rays (54-73) in the second of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 5-4, and Houston leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 27 and will air on RTSW and SUN.
In his last start, Keuchel pitched 8.0 innings, giving up two runs, striking out seven and walking one in a 5-3 victory over the Orioles. The Rays were unsuccessful against the Red Sox 6-2 the last time Snell pitched. He went 3.2 innings, allowing two runs, striking out three and walking five. Evan Longoria (.288, 68 Rs, 30 HRs, 79 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Houston is a -174 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the Astros have a 46-44 record and overall money line at -900. Teams routinely struggle to score runs against the Astros, who allow only 4.2 runs per game. The Astros don't give up many walks at home to opposing batters at Minute Maid Park, leading the AL with only 2.3 walks allowed per home game. They have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, averaging 8.7 strikeouts per game.
On the other side, the Rays have a subpar record of 22-35 when they are the underdog and are -2,444 overall with the money line. The last 10 games have really brought the best out of the Tampa Bay pitchers. They've allowed 2.7 runs per game during that span, which is lower than their season average of 4.3. The Tampa Bay pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging 8.5 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Snell (LHP) on the mound against the Astros, who have a 19-21 record when they take on a left-handed starter. The left-handed Keuchel will take the mound against the Rays, who have a 15-18 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
The Rays lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Astros are 21-21. The Rays are 10-20 in close games this season.
The Astros are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Rays have a 9-23 record when opponents give up one walk or less.
When they are outhit, the Rays are 10-54. The Astros have an 11-53 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 14th in home runs, Houston has hit 160 this season. Tampa Bay ranks eighth with 168 home runs.
Houston and Tampa Bay both rank in the top half of the league in hits. Houston sits at 12th with 8.49 hits per game and Tampa Bay ranks 15th with 8.12.
Ranking 16th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.735). Houston ranks in the top half at 14th with an OPS of .742.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 29-65. When the Astros allow one or more homers, they have a 43-40 record.