Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros Betting Preview

A pair of playoff-contending teams will get together in Houston on Friday. To start a three-game series, the Tampa Bay Rays are at the Houston Astros. The Rays have dropped 8 out of their 10. Tampa Bay has fallen to 1.5 games back of Baltimore at the top of the division.

The Rays are 25-24 overall on the road. For Houston, they are looking to get back in the win column after a loss to Texas on Wednesday. The Astros are 58-45, which is two games behind the Rangers in the American League West.

The Tampa Bay Rays are the favorites in this game. Despite being on the road, the Rays are -115 over the Astros. Houston is -105. The total for this game is at 8.5 runs on Friday.

Pitching Matchup

The Rays are sending their ace – Shan McClanahan, to the mound in this one. The 26-year-old lefthander is 11-1 on the season, with a 2.86 earned run average. The Rays’ starting pitcher has 112 strikeouts over 106 innings thrown this season. In his last outing, he was not sharp, allowing five hits and five runs in just four innings against the Orioles.

For Houston, Christian Javier will throw. Javier is 7-2 on the season with a 4.32 earned run average. Javier has started 19 games on the season and thrown 102 innings. In those 102 innings, he’s struck out 94. The 26-year-old is coming off an outing where he walked 6 in a loss at Oakland on July 22nd.

Battle of the Bats

If this game turns into a battle of the bats, the Tampa Bay Rays are probably going to be in trouble. The Rays are scoring less than three runs per game over their last ten games. Tampa Bay, on the season, is 4th in Major League Baseball with 545 runs. The team batting average, which was inside the Top 10 most of the season, has dipped to .255, and 11th in baseball.

Yandy Diaz is having a big season for Tampa Bay. He is the top hitter in the lineup at .318. Jose Siri hit his 20th home run of the season earlier this week, and home run derby contestant Randy Arozarena has clubbed 17 home runs while driving in 62.

The Houston Astros are scoring just shy of 5 runs per game over their last 10. During that time, the Astros are 703. The problem in their most recent loss was allowing 13 runs to the Rangers. Houston actually ranks lower than the Rays in nearly every offensive category but are certainly running hotter.

Houston’s top offensive threat this season has been Kyle Tucker. Tucker leads the team in batting average, at .304, home runs, with 18, and runs batted in with 69.

McLanahan Tops Javier

Shane McLanahan is really good. He is tough, strong, and effective. While he was not great in his last outing, look for him to bounce back. He knows the Rays need a win. He knows this needs to be a pitcher’s duel.

Look for the Rays to chase Javier early and keep the lead. Bet the Tampa Bay Rays -115 over the Houston Astros on Friday.

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