Should we expect another low scoring affair heading into the Astros vs Rays game 2 betting matchup? Pitching dominated the opener on Sunday night, with Tampa Bay holding on for a 2-1 win to take a 1-0 series lead. The Astros outhit the Rays 9-6, but Tampa Bay got yet another timely HR from Randy Arozarena that proved to be the difference.
Tampa won game 1 as a -129 underdog with Blake Snell on the hill. It’s a very similar line for Astros vs Rays game 2 betting with the line being slightly higher at -131 for TB. Sunday’s 2-1 outcome went way under the total of 8, which is the same number oddsmakers are throwing out for Tuesday afternoon (4:07 PM ET, TBS).
Astros Hit a Bump?
It was a rough outing for Houston on Sunday as they managed just 1 run after taking three of four from Oakland in the ALDS. Tampa Bay did have an advantage playing at the neutral site Petco Park for the second straight series (Houston played at Dodger Stadium), but this is still an Astros team that plated 33 runs and hit 12 HRs last series against the A’s.
Houston outhit Tampa Bay 9-6 an got a HR from Jose Altuve but it wasn’t enough to capture game 1. The Astros scored at least five runs in all four games against Oakland, who also had the best bullpen in MLB during the regular season. Houston also wasted a 6.0 IP, 2ER, 8 K performance from Framber Valdez in the opener.
There’s not a whole lot the Astros can do in game 2 except regroup. That goes for starting pitcher Lance McCullers as well as the right-hander gave up 4 ER in just 4.0 IP against Oakland last time out. The A’s hit three HRs off the Astros starter, who hadn’t allowed a run in three starts prior (17.2 IP).
Rays Pitching For Real
Tampa Bay didn’t seem fazed in facing the supposedly potent Houston offense on Sunday. After all, this is a Rays team that just shut down the Yankees 2-1 in the winner-take-all game 5 of the ALDS. Blake Snell went only 5.0 IP in the opener, but he did his job holding the Astros to just one run over that span.
The Rays aren’t going to overpower Houston offensively, but they’ve proven that their hits are timely. Mike Zunino, with a .147 average, got the game winning hit on Sunday night. Randy Arozarena hit .421 and homered three times in the 5-game series with the Yankees, and he stayed hot with a 4th inning blast that tied the game. The Rays got the win despite the top 7 batters in their order going 3-22.
Charlie Morton squares off against his old team when he takes the mound for Tampa Bay on Monday afternoon. Morton was the Astros winning pitcher in game 7 of the 2017 World Series but also scored a win against his old team in game 3 of the ALDS last season. Morton was solid in his only postseason start this season, holding the Yankees to 1 ER over 5.0 IP to get the win in game 3 of the ALDS last round.
Astros vs Rays Game 2 Betting Free Pick
In many ways Houston was the better team in game 1, they out hit the Rays and got a longer outing from their starting pitcher. Some of the deficiencies from Houston in the opener could be due to having to make the move to Petco Park, a place Tampa Bay was comfortable in after playing five games in San Diego against the Yankees last week.
The Astros will work out the kinks in game 2, and McCullers will bounce back from a poor showing against the A’s last time out.
Astros 4 – Rays 2
Free Pick: Astros +121
Free Pick: Under 8