Chris Archer (7-17, 4.11 ERA), attemping to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, starts for the Tampa Bay Rays (54-74) as they square off against Doug Fister (12-8, 3.59 ERA) and the Houston Astros (68-61) in the last of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 6-2, and Houston leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 28 and can be seen on RTSW and SUN.
Fister pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering zero runs, striking out six and walking one in a 3-1 win over the Pirates. George Springer (.261, 96 Rs, 25 HRs, 72 RBIs, 8 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run. Archer went 5.0 innings, surrendering two, striking out six and walking two in a 2-1 defeat to the Red Sox in his most recent start.
Houston is a -131 favorite against Tampa Bay and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Astros have an overall money line of -700 and a record as the favorite of 48-44. The Astros have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.9 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.6 runs per game. Opposing batters know they're in for a battle when they play Houston. The Astros are one of the top teams when it comes to pitching, allowing just 4.2 runs per game. The Astros are the top team in the AL at limiting walks during home games, allowing only 2.3 walks per contest to their opponents this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Astros, who rank second in the AL in strikeouts per game with 8.7.
As for their opponent, Tampa Bay is coming in with an overall money line of -2,644 and a disappointing record of 22-37 as the underdog. The Rays have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 8.5 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Astros lead the season series, 3-2. The Astros have a 47-40 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Archer takes the mound. Fister (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a 39-55 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
Houston recorded at least two errors for the ninth time this season.
The Astros are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Rays have a 9-24 record when opponents give up one walk or less.
It looks like the Astros have a slight leg up on the Rays, as the Astros have won their last three games while the Rays have lost their last two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rays are 36-12. The Astros have a 51-5 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 24th, Tampa Bay sits near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 531 this season. Houston ranks in the top half at 12th with 589.
Ranking 20th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 373 this season. Houston ranks in the top five with 459.
When the Astros hit at least one home run, they are 59-35. When the Rays hit at least one homer, they have a 46-46 record.