The Houston Astros (12-10) take on the Tampa Bay Rays (19-3) Monday night! Check out our MLB odds series as we hand out an Astros-Rays prediction and pick. We will also let you know how to watch the game.
The Astros are coming off a very impressive sweep on the road against the Atlanta Braves. Mauricio Dubon, Corey Julks and Jake Meyers had five hits each in the series. Yordan Alvarez only had three hits, but two of those were home runs. Alvarez also led the team in RBI on the series. Kyle Tucker added a home run of his own as well. On the mound, Hector Neris picked up two wins in relief, Framber Valdez notched his second win of the year and Bryan Abreu recorded his first two saves of the season.
The Rays continued their home win streak with a sweep against the Chicago White Sox. However, it took two walk-off hits for the Rays to be able to complete the sweep. Brandon Lowe hit a walk-off two-run home run in game one (his only hit of the series) while Randy Arozarena walked it off with a single in game two. Arozarena finished with four hits and a home run on the series. Yandy Diaz collected six hits and Harold Ramirez had five hits and two home runs. Christian Bethancourt and Luke Raley also went deep in the series. On the mound, Kevin Kelly, Garrett Cleavinger and Zach Eflin picked up wins while Pete Fairbanks recorded his third save of the season.
This game between Houston and Tampa Bay will be the first of three. Jose Urquidy will take the ball for Houston and Taj Bradley will start for the Rays.
Here are the Astros-Rays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Astros-Rays Odds
Houston Astros: +1.5 (-164)
Tampa Bay Rays: -1.5 (+136)
Over: 8.5 (-105)
Under: 8.5 (-115)
How To Watch Astros vs. Rays
TV: AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports Sun
Stream: MLB TV Subscription
Time: 6:40 PM ET/3:40 PM PT
*Watch MLB games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Astros Could Cover The Spread
Houston is coming off a solid sweep and they are feeling good. They are finally above .500 heading into this series and seem to be heading back towards their winning ways. They will be facing Taj Bradley in this game. He is off to a fantastic start in his Major League career. He gives up a lot of weak contact, but the Astros do not make weak contact. Houston has a weak contact percentage of 2.9. The MLB average in that category is 4.3 percent. The Astros have a challenge facing Bradley, but if they can continue making hard contact, they will cover this spread.
The Astros do not strikeout a lot. Bradley has recorded 31 outs in his two starts with 17 of those outs coming by strikeout. Putting the ball in play obviously puts pressure on the defense, but it can also frustrate the rookie pitcher. He has not had many balls put in play against him, so being able to foul off pitches and eventually put the ball in play will be crucial in this game.
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
Tampa Bay is the best team in baseball this season. Anytime they take the field, they have the ability to cover the spread. They are even better at home. The are 13-0 in home games and pitch the ball extremely well at Tropicana Field. The Rays have a WHIP off 0.87 and a 2.36 ERA at home. They are facing a very good offensive team in this game, so their pitchers need to be at the top of their game.
The Rays are the best hitting team in baseball. Their offense is a big reason they are 19-3 to begin the season. They will be facing Urquidy in this game and he gives up quite a few hits. In three of his four starts this season, Urquidy has given up seven hits. Tampa Bay leads the MLB in batting average and home runs. The Rays will have a great chance to hit the ball around in this game. If they do this, they will cover the spread.
Final Astros-Rays Prediction & Pick
The Rays are the best home team in the MLB, and this should not change. This could be their biggest challenge at home in the young season, so they need to be locked in. Expect Tampa Bay to come out playing well and swinging the bats in this game. They should win this game and cover the spread.
Final Astros-Rays Prediction & Pick: Rays -1.5 (+136), Under 8,5 (-115)
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