The Tampa Bay Rays have jumped out to a 3-0 series lead over the Houston Astros. Tampa Bay’s pitching and defense have led them to their big series lead. They’ve only given up a combined five runs in the first three games of the ALCS.
In Game 4, the Rays are coming in as 1.5 run favorites. The moneyline for Tampa Bay has been set at -146 while Houston’s is +146, and the over/under fixed at eight runs.
Get it Together
So far, Houston hasn’t shown up for this series in any capacity. Throughout the regular season, the Astros lineup has been defined by firepower. They have the ability to strike at any time, but this reputation has been all hype in the first three games of the ALCS.
Houston has given away opportunities in every facet of the game. The Astros have left 31 runners on base, the lineup is batting .167 with runners in scoring position, and Jose Altuve has contributed three of four Astros errors in the series.
These statistics don’t reflect any style of the Astros that we have seen in the past few years. They’ll need to figure it out, or they’ll be starting to prepare for 2021.
The Astros have manufactured a lot more opportunities than the Rays in this series. The only difference is the Rays have consistently shut down their chances and capitalized on their own breaks.
Tampa Bay capitalized on a bad Astros stretch in Game 3 by putting up five runs in the top of the sixth inning. This allowed the Rays pitching staff to settle in, and they didn’t skip a beat shutting down the Houston lineup.
In the series, the Rays may not measure up to the Astros in all the fancy baseball statistics that analysts use today. Despite this, they are one game away from the World Series. I think everyone, including the Astros, would rather be the Rays right now.
Zack Greinke will take the hill for the Astros to save their season. If you’re the Astros, Greinke pitching would typically bring confidence, but this pitcher hasn’t been the same in the postseason.
Tyler Glasnow will pitch for the Rays. His last appearance came in Game 5 when his team defeated the Yankees to advance to this series. He’ll be pitching on full rest as well, so look for his pitches to have a little more zip in his effort to send his team to the World Series.
For the Astros to win, they’ll need to play better in every area of the game. They are leading the series in hard-hit balls, but this means nothing because they haven’t delivered with runners in scoring position. In addition to timely hitting, Greinke will need to throw a gem, and I just don’t see that happening after his last outing in the ALDS against Oakland.
This 3-0 lead is too big of a mountain for the Astros to climb, and they’ll be starting the offseason tomorrow.
I’m taking the Rays at -146 and over eight runs.