Houston on Two-Game Losing Streak
The Tampa Bay Rays try to make it two straight against the host Houston Astros when the teams continue their three-game weekend series on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay won the series opener, snapping a two-game losing streak and clinching a playoff spot in the American League. Houston has lost two in a row but clinched the top record in the American League with the New York Yankees’ loss on Friday night.
These teams could be matching up later in October, so these games are going to be intense. Check out our in-depth preview of Saturday’s game to help you decide how you want to bet online.
Rays Are in, but Battle for Position Continues
The Tampa Bay Rays punched their ticket for the postseason with a 7-3 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night, but they still have some work to do as far as their final position in the playoff field. Tampa Bay enters Saturday in the last Wild Card spot in the American League, but they’re just a half-game behind the Seattle Mariners for the second spot, which would let them avoid an opening series against the AL Central champion Cleveland Guardians.
Left-hander Shane McClanahan will get the startt. McClanahan is 12-7 with a 2.51 ERA (ninth in baseball) in 27 starts, striking out 192 (14th in the majors) in 161⅓ innings. He’s had a rough couple of outings in his last two starts, going a combined nine innings and allowing nine runs on 11 hits, including four home runs, against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Astros.
Designated hitter Yandy Diaz set the tone from the leadoff spot on Friday night, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. Diaz is batting .296 this season with 33 doubles, nine home runs, 56 RBIs and 71 runs scored.
Astros Clinch Best Record Despite Loss
The Houston Astros will have home-field advantage in any playoff series they play against an American League foe in 2022, clinching the top record despite Friday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The New York Yankees’ loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday assured Houston of the top record in the AL, though it wasn’t exactly a cause for celebration.
“It’s hard to celebrate when you feel the pain of losing,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said after Friday’s loss to the Rays. “We’ll worry about that later.”
Designated hitter Yordan Alvarez was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored in Friday’s setback. Alvarez is seventh in baseball with a .305 batting average, hitting 26 doubles, two triples and 37 home runs (sixth in the majors), driving in 96 runs and scoring 93 runs.
Houston will have right-hander Cristian Javier on the mound. Javier is 10-9 with a 2.65 ERA in 24 starts and 29 overall appearances in 2022, striking out 187 in 142⅔ innings. He’s been on his game of late, going 2-0 with a 0.40 ERA in four September starts and coming into this contest on a streak of 19⅔ scoreless innings.
Rays vs Astros Head-To-Head
The visiting team is 4-0 in the season series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros this season after the Rays’ opening win in Houston on Friday night. The Astros swept a three-game series in Tampa earlier in September for their wins in the season series.
Houston won the season series in 2021 by a 4-2 count, its only season series win against the Rays since the 2008 campaign. The MLB lines for Saturday’s contest are giving the host Astros the slight edge to clinch the season series with a win.
Rays vs Astros Game Information
- Game: Rays (86-71) vs Astros (102-55)
- Location: Minute Maid Park
- Day/Time: Saturday, Oct 01, 7:20 p.m. ET
- Rays vs Astros Live Stream: MLB TV
Rays vs Astros Betting Lines
|+140||6½ -115o||2½ Evu|
|Astros||-155||6½ -105u||3½ -120u|
The odds in this chart are based on the time of publication. They are subject to change.
Rays vs Astros Prediction
These teams are perennial playoff teams, and they’ll both be back at the postseason party again this season. The Tampa Bay Rays have more to play for in this one, so we like them to eke out the victory against the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
When making your MLB picks, take Tampa Bay to win on the road.