The Houston Astros are set to host the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series. The first pitch of the series will be fired off at 2:05 p.m. ET and this opening game will be nationally televised on Fox Sports One.
Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros Odds
Oddsmakers are listing Tampa Bay (+190) as the underdog to Houston (-210). The total stands at 7.5 runs and bettors can take the over for +105 and the under for -125. This game currently has a runline of Rays +1.5 (-115) and Astros -1.5 (-105).
In the regular season, the Rays went 97-66 SU and 83-80 against the spread (ATS). They’ve gained 0.8 units for moneyline bettors, despite having lost 7.8 units ATS. Tampa Bay has covered the spread four times in its last seven games and the total has gone under in five of those seven. The Astros, on the other hand, are 107-55 SU and 89-73 ATS. The team’s gained 6.5 units for bettors taking the moneyline and 2.8 units ATS. Houston has covered the spread six times in its last seven games and the total has gone under in four of those seven.
Houston games have an over/under record of 73-84-5 in 2019. Tampa Bay has an over/under record of 79-76-8.
Tyler Glasnow will get the nod for the Rays. The right-handed Glasnow (6-1, 1.78 ERA) has recorded 76 strikeouts in 60.2 innings so far. He’s 1-0 with four strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA against Houston this year.
The Astros are handing the ball to righty Justin Verlander (21-6, 2.58 ERA), who has 300 strikeouts and 42 walks as well as a 0.80 WHIP. Verlander is 2-0 with 13 strikeouts and a 0.73 ERA across two starts against Tampa Bay this year.
Houston’s pitching staff has yielded 4.0 runs per game overall in 2019 as a unit. The team’s starters have an ERA of 3.61, a WHIP of 1.09 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 10.5. The bullpen has a 3.75 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 9.9 K/9.
The Houston hitters are putting up 5.7 runs per outing, including 5.3 per game over its last 10 games and 4.8 per game over their last five. The team has hit .231/.333/.467 over its last five contests and is 4-1 SU during that span.
The Astros’ offense has been led by left fielder Michael Brantley and first baseman Yuli Gurriel. Brantley is slashing .311/.372/.503 with 22 home runs, 90 RBIs and 88 runs scored, and Gurriel is batting .298 with 31 homers, 104 RBIs and 85 runs.
In the other dugout, Tampa Bay’s pitching staff allowed 4.0 runs per game and its starting pitchers own a 3.61 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 10.18 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 3.69, along with a K-per-9 of 9.66.
The Rays offense has slashed .253/.327/.432 on its way to 4.7 runs scored per game this year, including 4.2 runs per game over the team’s last 10 games and 3.8 per game over the team’s last five outings (3-2 SU).
Tampa Bay’s offensive production has been powered by Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows, who have combined to launch 55 home runs. Pham is hitting .275/.369/.455 with 22 home runs, 69 RBIs, 78 runs and 26 stolen bases, while Meadows is hitting .289/.363/.555 with 33 homers, 89 RBIs and 83 runs scored.
The Rays have gained 4.3 units and are 52-53 ATS when facing a righty starter this season. The over has hit in 54 of those games, compared to 46 that’ve gone under against right-handed starting pitchers. On the other hand, the Astros have lost 7.8 units and are 61-52 ATS when facing a righty starter. The over has cashed in 55 of those games, compared to 55 that went under.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros Free Pick
Predictions: SU Winner – Astros, ATS Winner – Rays, O/U – OVER
The over has cashed in just two of Tampa Bay’s last seven contests.
The Rays have hit 19 home runs in their last 10 games, including 10 over their last five.
The Rays have a team OPS of .759 this season and an OPS of .761 against right-handed pitchers. The Astros’ OPS stands at .851 overall and .832 against righties.
Houston has posted 22.1 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 contests and 21.6 over its last five.
The Astros have won six of their last seven games SU.