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MLB Odds: Astros vs. Rays prediction, odds and pick – 9/19/2022

Astros Rays prediction, Astros Rays odds, Astros Rays pick, Astros Rays, MLB odds

The Houston Astros will travel to Tampa Bay to begin a three-game series at Tropicana Field on Monday night against the Rays. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes a Astros-Rays prediction and pick, laid out below.

Houston leads the AL West with a 96-51 record, the best record in the American League and second-best in all of baseball. Houston has wrapped up the division and is closing in on 100 wins very quickly. The run of dominance has continued in Houston, and the final part of the season will serve merely as a postseason tuneup.

Tampa Bay has had to fight and claw itself into playoff contention. On a two-game winning streak, the Rays have improved to 82-64, third place in the AL East and good for the second spot in the AL Wild Card race. Tampa Bay plays much better at home, with a 49-25 record at Tropicana Field.

Here are the Astros-Rays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Astros-Rays Odds

Houston Astros: -1.5 (+176)

Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-215)

Over: 7 (+102)

Under: 7 (-124)

Why The Astros Could Cover The Spread

Luis Garcia will take the mound for Houston in the series opener. In his 25 starts, Garcia has gone 12-8 with a 4.04 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 140.1 innings. Garcia has struggled of late, with a 4.68 ERA in his last 15 starts. Garcia owns the lowest walk rate of his career, allowing free passes at a 7.3 percent clip. Garcia’s cutter has performed the best of his pitchers, with a .154 batting average against the pitch, registering 57 strikeouts.

Houston’s bullpen leads the league with a lowly 2.75 ERA, striking out 509 batters in 445.1 innings. Rafael Montero and Ryne Stanek have been the two brightest spots in this group. Montero has pitched to a 2.34 ERA with 13 saves in 61.2 innings, striking out 66 batters. Stanek owns a 1.09 ERA, striking out 56 batters in 49.1 innings. Batters are hitting just .182 against Stanek. Closer Ryan Pressley has been solid, with a 3.02 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 28 saves in 41.2 innings.

Houston’s offense is one of the most feared groups in the league. Led by Yordan Alvarez’s 37 home runs, Houston is tied for fourth with 197 home runs. Alvarez also leads the team with a .304 batting average, ranking second with 93 RBI. Kyle Tucker leads the team with 99 RBI and 22 stolen bases, ranking second with 28 home runs. Alex Bregman leads the team with 37 doubles, adding 21 home runs and 86 RBI. Jose Altuve is second on the team with 33 doubles, hitting 24 home runs with a .290 batting average. Houston ranks seventh with 257 doubles.

Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread

Drew Rasmussen is Monday’s starter for Tampa Bay, bringing a 10-5 record with a 2.77 ERA and 114 strikeouts to the mound. In his 25 starts, Rasmussen has tossed 126.2 innings, including a near no-hitter. In his last seven starts, Rasmussen has pitched to a 2.11 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 38.1 innings in that stretch. Rasmussen has only walked 5.5 percent of the batters he has faced this season.

Tampa Bay’s bullpen ranks seventh in the league with a 3.27 ERA in 621.1 innings. Lefty Brooks Raley, a former Astro, has pitched to a 1.98 ERA in 50 innings, with batters hitting just .182 against him. Reliever Jason Adam, who is the de facto closer, has pitched to a 1.48 ERA with 72 strikeouts and eight saves in 60.2 innings.

Randy Arozarena leads the offense with 37 doubles, 79 RBI, and 30 stolen bases while being tied for the lead with 19 home runs. Arozarena has taken off with consistent playing time in Tampa Bay and has rewarded the team’s confidence with stellar offensive play. Isaac Paredes ranks tied for the team lead with 19 home runs, adding 15 doubles in his 97 games. Ji-Man Choi has 10 home runs, all of them against right-handed pitching. Yandy Diaz leads the team with a .295 batting average, walking more than he has struck out, and has added nine home runs and 32 doubles (a career high). Tampa Bay is fifth in the league with 266 doubles.

Final Astros-Rays Prediction & Pick

This might be the second-best pitching matchup of the day, so don’t expect a ton of offense.

Final Astros-Rays Prediction & Pick: Tampa Bay +1.5 (-215), under 7 (-124)