The Houston Astros look to get back on track in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have taken the opening two contests to build a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven game series. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:40 P.M. Eastern at PETCO Park in San Diego.
The Rays are favored in Game 3, according to oddsmakers. Tampa Bay is -131 on the moneyline, while the Astros are +110.
What to Know – Houston Astros
The defending AL Champions have put themselves in a hole after falling in Game 1 and 2 on the series. Houston has mustered only three runs over 18 innings of play against the Rays after making the playoffs as the No. 6 seed on the AL-side of the bracket.
Jose Urquidy makes his third start of the postseason in Tuesday’s contest for the Astros. Urquidy will have the tough task of holding the Rays offense in check to give Houston a chance. In two starts this postseason, Urquidy has thrown 8.2 innings, allowed five earned runs on seven hits, walked three, and struck out six.
Carlos Correa has eviscerated pitchers this postseason. Correa is 10-for-22 (.455 avg) with four home runs and 12 RBI in seven games. Michael Brantley (.345 avg, two HRs, eight runs scored) and Jose Altuve (.296 avg, three home runs, seven RBI) have also provided on the offensive end for the Astros.
The Astros accumulated ten hits in Game 2 but produced just two runs in the loss. Houston went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the contest.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are doing what was expected as the top overall seed in the AL. Tampa is two wins away from appearing in the World Series for the first time since 2008, which was the franchise’s first appearance.
Ryan Yarbrough takes the mound looking to push the Rays advantage to 3-0. Yarbrough has made just one postseason appearance this year, firing five innings against the New York Yankees. The right-hander allowed two earned runs on six hits with one strikeout.
Randy Arozarena is putting on a clinic at the plate for the Rays. The 25-year old is batting .419 (13-for-31) with four home runs, five RBI, and nine runs scored. Mike Zunino added his third home run of the postseason in Monday’s win and pushed his RBI total to six.
Tampa has hit three home runs in the first two games of the series, all by different players. The Rays have surrendered just five runs over their last four postseason contests.
The Pick is In
The Astros are desperately needing a victory here to not fall to a 3-0 deficit and one loss away from elimination. Meanwhile, Tampa is looking to sweep the series and get some rest before the World Series begins. Houston hit the ball well in Game 2 but could not plate any runs. If the they hit the ball well again in Game 3, expect the Astros to take care of business.
Houston on the moneyline at +110 is the smart play.