Rays Take on Talented Astros Squad
The Tampa Bay Rays are on the cusp of securing a playoff spot. They currently stand five games clear of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Wild Card race.
On Friday, they visit the Houston Astros, the team that has collected the most wins in the American League. They’ll also be facing one of the best pitching teams in the league, with a pitcher who has led the team to wins in eight out of his last nine.
Can the Rays get a much-needed win over the Astros in this one, or will Houston cash on the MLB betting odds?
Momentum Needed for Rays
At this point, it looks like a formality that the Rays will clinch a playoff spot, but they have room to move up. They’re just a half-game back of the Seattle Mariners and two back of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Better positioning can earn them easier matchups down the road, so they have to be focused here. However, Tampa Bay has been sluggish lately, losing four out of their last five games.
Drew Rasmussen is tasked with helping them snap out of it, and he’s been quality this season. Rasmussen is 10-7 on the year with a 2.85 ERA.
Unfortunately, Rasmussen has seen the Rays lose the last three games he’s appeared in, one of them against the very same Astros. He lasted 6.0 innings in that start and allowed four runs. The Rays lost 4-0.
Astros Rely Upon Strong Pitching Once Again
Life is significantly easier when you have a bullpen as strong and consistent as the Astros. Framber Valdez will be starting here for the Astros, and the team has won eight of his last nine outings.
Valdez is tied for the fourth-best record in the league at 16-5 with the 11th-best ERA at 2.69. Just recently, he set a league record with 25 consecutive quality starts.
He’s coming off a bit of a rough outing in a game where the Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-10. Valdez gave up a whopping 11 hits, seven runs (just four earned), and a pair of home runs.
If you bet online, note that he’s only allowed 11 home runs on the season, so giving up two in one start is unusual for him. We’ll see if he can rebound here.
Rays vs Astros Head-to-Head
These teams have only met up with one another three times this season. The Astros won every single one, outscoring the Rays 14-2 combined in those games.
Rays vs Astros Game Information
- Game: Rays (85-71) vs Astros (102-54)
- Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
- Day/Time: Friday, Sept. 30, 8:10 p.m. ET
- Rays vs Astros Live stream: MLB.tv
Rays vs Astros Betting Lines
|Tampa Bay Rays
D. Rasmussen -R
|+1½ -155||+145||6½ -120o||2½ -105o
F. Valdez -L
|-1½ +135||-165||6½ Evu||3½ -130o
The odds in this chart are based on the time of publication. They are subject to change.
Rays vs Astros Prediction
Rasmussen can certainly hold his own against the Astros, but Valdez is considered one of the best in the league at the position. Not only that, but the Astros have won all three games against the Rays this season.
Plus, all three of those games were dominating Houston wins. So if you’re looking to bet on one of these two squads, roll with the Astros here for your MLB picks.
If you’re not keen on a side, go under in the sportsbook, as we have two quality starters on the mound.