Thursday MLB Betting: Houston Astros (54-28) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (39-40)

The Astros have continued to play fantastic baseball, and have the best run differential in the expansion era, going back to 1961, through 82 games played. They have been a tough out for every team this year.

The Rays on the other hand come in after playing a very impressive series against the Nats, which followed a sweep of the Yankees. They bring a lot of swagger into this matchup. The Houston Astros come into this game -165 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Houston Astros

This team has been competing at an extremely high level all throughout the season, and have posted a CRAZY, +181-run differential thus far. Their pitching has been nothing of short of legendary this year, led by old man Justin Verlander, and the rejuvenated Gerrit Cole. The most impressive part of it is that former AL CY Young Dallas Keuchel isn’t even among the top starters in this rotation, which is having a historic season. Jose Altuve is also looking like a candidate to win another AL MVP.

They will send Lance McCullers to the mound for his seventeenth start of the season. He has never appeared in more than 22 games in a year prior to 2018. He has gone 8-3, posting a 3.82 ERA in 94 1/3 innings of work. He has struck out 99 batters while walking 36. In his last outing against the Royals, he allowed three runs on four hits over six innings while striking out nine.

Tampa Bay Rays

While they haven’t been great this year, the Rays have been competitive, and able to tread water. CJ Cron has been the power bat in the lineup this year, launching 16 HR’s and 38 RBI’s, while Matt Duffy and Wilson Ramos have been the two best hitters in the lineup. They have a clear All Star starter in Blake Snell, who leads the team in all major pitching categories. Their pitching was fantastic in shutting down both the Nationals and Yankees. The task is even larger now though, as they take on the Astros.

They will send Ryne Stanek to the mound for his eighth start of the season (20th appearance). He has been one of the many relievers that the Rays who have been experimented as a starting pitcher. In 22 2/3 innings of work, he has gone 1-1, with a 1.99 ERA, striking out 25 while walking 11.

Rays cool off the Astros, beat McCullers

It will be a win for the Rays tonight, as they are home and ready for all that the Astros can throw at them. Stanek will get their pitching staff off to a strong start in the game’s opening innings, which will help to carry them home.

A home run from Wilson Ramos will help to get the offense going early, and a game that won’t produce too many runs, will see Tampa Bay emerge as the victors. Just one loss won’t hurt the Astros. We are going to bet on the Tampa Bay Rays for this game. Tampa Bay comes away as the underdog winner. Bet the Rays at +140 over Houston.

  • Bet the Tampa Bay Rays +140
  • Bet on the Houston Astros -165
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