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Houston Can Force a Game 7 With Another Upset Win Over Tampa Bay

Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays Betting Preview

The last 14 games between the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays have been split down the middle at seven wins apiece. While the Rays looked great in jumping out to a 3-0 series lead in the ALCS, perhaps the writing was on the wall in the recent history between these two teams that the Astros weren’t likely to go down without a fight. Tampa Bay and Houston clash in San Diego for a crucial Game 6 on Friday night.

Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays
  • Date/Time: October 16, 6:07 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Petco Park
  • TV Coverage: TBS
  • Opening Odds: Rays -135 | O/U 8 (Line History)
  • Astros vs Rays Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The betting odds on this game have remained fairly steady with the Rays going off as a -133 favorite and the Astros paying +123 as underdogs. The total also hasn’t changed, staying consistent at 8 runs. With back-to-back upset wins in this series, the Astros are now 5-2 as a betting underdog this postseason.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Framber Valdez has carried the success of his first full regular season as a starter (3.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) into the postseason with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP through three starts. Valdez allowed four hits and two earned runs with eight strikeouts in six innings against Tampa Bay in a 2-1 loss in Game 1 last Sunday.

Blake Snell is also enjoying a strong postseason with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP through his first three playoff starts. Snell outdueled Valdez in Game 1, allowing six hits and only one earned run in five innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen to get the final 12 outs of the game.

Houston News & Notes

Carlos Correa reportedly told Dusty Baker “I’m going to end it” as he walked onto the field for his at-bat against Rays closer Nick Anderson in the bottom of the ninth inning. He did exactly that with a towering home run to center field, securing a 4-3 win for the Astros to keep Houston’s postseason alive. Correa is batting .342 this postseason with seven runs, six home runs and 14 RBIs.

Houston’s pitching staff and bullpen has held Tampa Bay to just 13 earned runs in this series. After committing four errors through the first three games of the ALCS, the Astros have gone error-free in each of their last two games and have two wins to show for it.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

When the wins are piling up, it’s easy to overlook flaws. But now that the Rays have lost two straight games, it’s tough to ignore the fact that their offense has gone cold. Tampa Bay is averaging only 2.86 runs per game over its last seven games, a far cry from the 5.78 runs the team was averaging in a 7-1 stretch over its previous eight games.

An elite pitching staff and bullpen takes the pressure off Tampa Bay’s offense to be great. But the margin for error is also razor-thin, as has been illustrated in the Rays’ back-to-back 4-3 losses in Games 4 and 5. The Rays need some of their bats around Randy Arozarena to heat up in order to finish up this series and go into the World Series with confidence at the plate.

Betting Pick: UNDER 8

All five games in this series have gone UNDER the posted total. That trend is likely to continue on Friday as tensions continue to rise heading into Game 6.

Shark Bites
  • Houston is 5-5 in its last 10 playoff games vs Tampa Bay.
  • Tampa Bay is 7-1 in its last 8 games after a loss.
  • The UNDER is 7-0 in Tampa Bay’s last 7 games.