Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros Game Odds & Predictions
The Tampa Bay Rays own a 2-0 lead in this American League Championship Series and shoot to go up 3-0 when the teams meet again Tuesday night on neutral turf in San Diego. Tampa is riding great pitching and some timely long-balling so far in this series, while Houston's had some chances, but come up empty. Who do we like for our free MLB pick on this Game 3?
MLB Betting Odds
ALCS Game 3 betting odds opened Tampa Bay at around -115 over Houston, with an over/under of 8.5 runs. Early betting action then dipped the Rays to -110.
Tampa could also be found getting upwards of +145, giving the run and a half on the Game 3 run line.
Rays vs. Astros Set-Up
Tampa Bay was the home team for the first two games of this ALCS, based on the better regular-season records, 40-20 to 29-31. Houston is now the home team for the next two games.
The Rays took a 2-0 lead in this ALCS by winning Game 2 Monday night 4-2. Tampa benefited from a first-inning throwing error by Astros 2B Jose Altuve that led to a three-run home run by Manuel Margot, and that was all they'd need. Rays starter Charlie Morton tossed five scoreless innings, then let the Tampa bullpen finish things off for the victory.
Houston had a chance to make things interesting in the ninth inning, loading the bases with nobody out, but only got one run out of it before succumbing.
The Rays won Game 1 of this ALCS Monday as a -130 favorite on the MLB betting odds, then won Tuesday at -110.
Also, both games in this ALCS have stayed under their totals.
With Tuesday's win, Tampa is now 7-2 this postseason.
With Tuesday's loss, the Astros are now 5-3 this postseason.
These two teams did not meet during the regular season this year.
Game 3 Starting Arms
Urquidy is 4/7 on quality starts this season, but he's come up short of throwing six innings his last two times out. Last Wednesday, in the ALDS against Oakland, he gave up four runs on four solo home runs through 4 1/3 innings of a 9-7 Houston loss. One week previous, in the wild-card series against Minnesota, Urquidy allowed just one run and two hits through 4 1/3 frames of a 3-1 Astros victory.
On the season, Houston is only 3-4 with Urquidy, but that's not all his fault.
This will be Urquidy's first-ever start against Tampa, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Lefty Yarbrough is 3/9 on quality starts this year. Last Thursday, in the ALDS against the Yankees, he threw five innings of relief, allowing two runs and six hits, as the Rays lost 5-1. And over his three previous appearances, he allowed just three runs and 13 hits through 16 innings, with two walks and 17 strikeouts.
The Rays, a team that finished 20 games over .500 this season, are only 4-5 with Yarbrough, and 1-3 over his last four starts.
In his only career start against the Astros, in August of last season, Yarbrough allowed three runs through six innings of an 8-6 Tampa defeat.
Game 3 Batting Splits
Tampa Bay batted .238/.324/.415 against right-handed pitching this season.
Houston batted .222/.299/.403 vs. left-handed pitching this season.
The Tampa Bay bullpen posted a 3.37 ERA this season, along with a 1.19 WHIP and a 3.02 K/BB ratio. Numbers like those help this unit rank among the top three bullpens in Baseball this year. Rays relievers have also combined to allow just two runs through eight innings of work in this ALCS.
The Astros pen put up a 4.39 ERA this season, along with a 1.52 WHIP and a 1.91 K/BB ratio. Numbers like those “help” this unit rank among the bottom half-dozen or so bullpens in Baseball this year. But Houston relievers have also thrown five innings of scoreless ball in this ALCS.
MLB Betting Trends
- Tampa Bay played an ML-best 31-12 against right-handed starters this season.
- Houston played 12-10 vs. left-handed starters this season.
- Unders played 30-27 in Rays games this season, and they're 5-4 in Rays games this postseason.
- Overs played 29-28 in Astros games this season, but the unders are 5-3 in Astros games this postseason.
- Totals played 13-13 at Petco Park this season.
- Unders are a combined 11-4 with Urquidy and Yarbrough this season.