Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros - 10/4/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros - 10/4/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays (96-66) at Houston Astros (107-55)

MLB Baseball: Friday, October 4, 2019 at 2:05 pm (Minute Maid Park)

Glasnow vs. Verlander

The Line: Houston Astros / Tampa Bay Rays --- Over/Under:

TV: FS1

The Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros meet Friday in game one of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park.

The Tampa Bay Rays are fresh off a 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics as an underdog in the Wild Card game. Yandy Diaz, Avisail Garcia and Tommy Pham combined for four homers and put the rest of the baseball community on notice who may not have been paying attention to this team. The Tampa Bay Rays have a terrific pitching staff with one of the better bullpens, and they have an offense that can put quick runs on the board as well. There should be no more sleeping on these Rays. Tyler Glasnow gets the ball, and he was 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 76 strikeouts this season. This will be Glasnow’s first career postseason appearance.

The Houston Astros are in the playoffs for a third straight season and are the current favorites to win the World Series. The Houston Astros are the most balanced team in baseball, as they’re third in runs per game and first in team batting average, while the pitching staff is third in team ERA and first in strikeouts. When the Astros are playing at the top of their game, they’re nearly impossible to beat. Michael Brantley leads the Astros with 179 hits and 90 RBI while Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman have combined for 332 hits and 216 RBI. Justin Verlander gets the ball, and he was 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts this season. Verlander is 13-7 with a 3.19 ERA and 167 strikeouts in his postseason career.

The Rays are 5-1 in their last 6 games following an off day, 35-16 in their last 51 games following a win and 1-6 in their last 7 Divisional Playoff games. The Astros are 4-0 in their last 4 Divisional Playoff games, 37-14 in their last 51 games following an off day and 37-16 in Verlanders last 53 starts. The Rays are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings and the under is 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings. The under is 10-4 in Verlanders last 14 starts overall. The over is 9-4-1 in Rays last 14 playoff road games.

Glasnow has allowed five hits and two runs in his last 12.1 innings, and he has a 0.55 ERA and .142 allowed batting average on the road. Verlander has allowed 23 hits and nine runs in his last 39 innings, and he has a 2.34 ERA and .180 allowed batting average at home. You have to consider the Houston Astros are going to be favorites for obvious reasons, but Glasnow is an absolute stud who has been even better on the road than at home, and while he may not have the name of Verlander, he can match him zero for zero. This series is going to be a lot closer than many people think, and there's going to be value with the Rays as underdogs given the pitching staff. 

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Randy’s Pick Tampa Bay Rays

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Pick Dawgz site consensus.