Houston Astros (59-46) vs Tampa Bay Rays (63-44)
Game Info: Sunday, July 30, 2023 at 2:10 pm (Minute Maid Park)
Brandon Bielak (5-5) (3.62) vs Zack Littell (0-2) (5.11)
Betting Odds: Houston Astros +100 / Tampa Bay Rays -125 --- Over/Under: 9 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Houston Astros will host the Tampa Bay Rays for their series finale this Sunday from Minute Maid Park on FOX. Houston struck back with a storm in game two and won by thirteen, 17-4.
Rays Preview & Projected Starter
Tampa Bay comes in at 63-44 after falling to Houston. The Rays reverted back to their July ways after being spanked by the ‘Stros, and they’ll seek some revenge Sunday. Kevin Cash’s team has fallen to second in the crowded AL East after a tough month of July, but they sit just three games back. The Tampa offense is scoring 5.13 runs per game, while batting .255, with a .327 on-base percentage. The pitching staff carries a 3.70 ERA, with a 1.18 WHIP.
Zach Littell (0-2, 5.11 ERA, 26 Ks) will open the game for Tampa. The journeyman pitcher has been a bit shaky this month, but he opened up well in his last bullpen start versus Baltimore last week, striking out three in two scoreless frames. Prior to that outing, Littell allowed runs in five of his previous seven appearances.
Rays Player Trends & Props
• Yandy Diaz has produced a run in four of the last seven games, and he leads Tampa in batting (.312), with 104 hits and 50 RBI.
• Wander Franco went yard in the game two defeat, and he now leads the Rays in hits (105), with twelve homers and 48 RBI.
• Brandon Lowe powered the game two win with a homer and three RBI, and he’s up to twelve home runs and 37 RBI for the season.
• Randy Arozarena extended his hitless streak to five games, but he’s still first on the team in RBI (62), with seventeen homers.
• Isaac Paredes hit a pair of homers in Saturday’s loss, and he’s now tied for the team-lead in RBI at 62, while leading Tampa in HR (20).
Astros Preview & Projected Starter
Houston enters at 59-46 after defeating Tampa. The Astros got sweet revenge last night, and they’ll look to nail down win number sixty here, Dusty Baker’s ballclub sits in second place of the AL West, and they currently hold a wildcard position. Houston offense is scoring 4.76 runs per game, while batting .248, with a .317 on-base percentage. The pitching staff carries a 3.81 ERA, with a 1.27 WHIP.
Brandon Bielak (5-5, 3.46 ERA, 50 Ks) will make the home start for Houston. The fourth-year pitcher had a tough time against Texas last time out, allowing six runs in 4.2 innings pitched, but run support prevented him from dropping below .500. Bielak hasn’t been able to capitalize on the injuries in the Astros rotation, as he just can’t put a consistent stretch of play together. This home matchup with Tampa won’t be much easier, so it’ll be interesting to see how he comes out.
Astros Player Trends & Props
• Kyle Tucker was surprisingly hitless in Saturday’s massive victory, but he still leads the Astros in hits (112), with splits of .299/18/69.
• Alex Bregman homered for the second time in three games last night, and he’s posting a line of .254/18/68.
• Chas McCormick tripled and plated a pair of runs in the game two win, and he’s batting .286, with thirteen home runs and 44 RBI.
• Jose Abreu has gone yard in both matchups with Tampa, and he’s up to ten homers and 56 RBI for the season.
Corey’s Free Pick
Houston’s beating of Tampa last night pretty much sums up how the month has gone for them, and all signs point to them ending July right on cue with another series defeat. I’d be all in on Houston if Brandon Bielak wasn’t the starter, because after losing by thirteen as a 60-win ballclub, they will surely be coming after him in this contest. I like backing the Over here in game three, with the uncertainty on both mounds.