The Houston Astros will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes an Astros-Rays prediction and pick, laid out below.
Houston has wrapped up the AL West division with a 98-51 record, including a 9-1 record in their last ten games. Houston has the third-highest run differential in the league, with a +208 mark. The team is primed for yet another 100-win season.
Tampa Bay is clinging to playoff contention, with an 82-66 record, third place in the AL East, and second place in the AL Wild Card spot. Tampa Bay has gone 4-6 in their last ten games, losing the first two games of this series. With just 14 games remaining, Tampa Bay is in a fight for their playoff lives.
Here are the Astros-Rays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Astros-Rays Odds
Houston Astros: -1.5 (+134)
Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-162)
Over: 7 (-115)
Under: 7 (-105)
Why The Astros Could Cover The Spread
Lance McCullers will be tonight’s starting pitcher, making his seventh start of the season. In his six starts this season, McCullers has gone 3-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. Batters have hit a lowly .111 against McCullers’ high-spin curveball. Known for his curveball, McCullers’ curveball has performed better in his small sample this season.
Houston’s bullpen has posted the lowest ERA in the league, with a 2.70 ERA and 520 strikeouts in 453.1 innings. Flamethrowing righty Bryan Abreu has pitched to a 2.05 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 57 innings. Abreu has struck out 34.5 percent of the batters he has faced, which ranks in the 96th percentile. Rafael Montero has posted a 2.34 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. Ryne Stanek owns a 1.07 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 50.1 innings, holding batters to a .179 batting average. Closer Ryan Pressly has a 2.98 ERA with 29 saves and 56 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. Pressly has only walked 5.1 percent of the batters he has faced while striking out 35.4 percent.
Yordan Alvarez leads the offense with 37 home runs and a .304 batting average, ranking second with 94 RBI and 72 walks. Kyle Tucker leads the team with 100 RBI and 22 stolen bases, ranking second with 28 home runs. Alex Bregman leads the team with 38 doubles and 82 doubles, hitting 21 home runs and 88 RBI. Jose Altuve ranks second on the team with 33 doubles and ranks third on the team with 25 home runs. Rookie Jeremy Pena has proven a capable replacement for Carlos Correa, hitting 18 doubles and 19 home runs, and stealing ten bases. Houston ranks fifth in the league with 199 home runs and eighth with 260 doubles.
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
Tampa Bay will task Corey Kluber with preventing a sweep in this one. Kluber, in his first season with the club, has gone 10-9 with a 4.44 ERA, striking out 128 batters in 148 innings. Kluber’s 2.9 percent walk rate ranks in the 99th percentile in the league, with batters chasing at a 34.9 percent rate, which ranks in the 94th percentile. Tampa Bay’s bullpen has been great this season, ranking sixth with a 3.23 ERA in 629.1 innings. Pete Fairbanks, who recently returned from injury, has appeared in 21 games this season, striking out 32 batters in 21 innings with a 1.29 ERA and eight saves. Lefty Brooks Raley has held batters to a .182 batting average, with a 1.98 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 50 innings. Jason Adam, who is tied for the team lead with eight saves, has pitched to a 1.48 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 60.2 innings.
Randy Arozarena is the headliner of this offense, leading the team with 19 home runs, 37 doubles, 79 RBI, and 30 stolen bases. Arozarena also ranks second on the team with a .264 batting average. Isaac Paredes is tied for the team lead with 19 home runs, adding 15 doubles in his 99 games played. Ji-Man Choi has hit all ten of his home runs against right-handers but is hitting just .183 against breaking balls this season.
Yandy Diaz leads the team with a .292 batting average and 77 walks, ranking second on the team with 32 doubles while walking more than he has struck out. Diaz’s 54 RBI ranks second on the team. Harold Ramirez has enjoyed a breakout season, with 22 doubles, six home runs, 54 RBI, and a .307 batting average. Should Ramirez get enough at-bats to qualify, the righty would lead the team in batting average. Christian Bethancourt has been solid in his time replacing Mike Zunino, hitting .254 in his 37 games. Bethancourt has launched seven home runs. Francisco Mejia is the main replacement for Zunino, hitting 21 doubles and six home runs in 85 games. Tampa Bay ranks fifth in the league with 269 doubles.
Final Astros-Rays Prediction & Pick
McCullers is more than capable to handle this Tampa Bay lineup in this one.
Final Astros-Rays Prediction & Pick: Houston -1.5 (+134), under 7 (-115)