Sports Betting Expert
The Tampa Bay Rays will square off with the host Houston Astros on Saturday in the second contest of a three-game set. First pitch is slated for 7:20 p.m. ET from Minute Maid Park. Coverage will be on each team’s regional sports channel as well as MLB.TV.
This will be a pitching matchup between a lefty and righty. LHP Shane McClanahan will take the mound for the Rays. RHP Cristian Javier is the starting pitcher for the Astros. McClanahan is 12-7 with an ERA of 2.51. Javier has a 10-9 mark and his ERA is 2.65.
You can bet on Rays vs. Astros while also eliminating the risk of that bet thanks to BetMGM Sportsbook. Courtesy of a special promotion with VegasInsider, new customers at BetMGM will get a risk-free bet of up to $1,000! When you use the promo code VIBONUS to sign up, your first sports bet is covered up to $1,000 if it happens to post as a loss (eligible markets only, read the T&Cs for details).
Prior to the set, the Rays were third place in the AL East and in possession of the final Wild Card. The Rays have a run differential of +61. The Rays are 1-4 in their last five games before the series. The Rays dropped two out of three at the AL Central best Cleveland Guardians in their last set.
The Astros have the best record in the AL and are second in the AL with a run differential of +212. The Astros are 3-2 in their last five contests prior to the set. In their last series, the Astros split a pair against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks in interleague play.
McClanahan has allowed 111 hits, 19 home runs, and 37 walks in addition to throwing 192 strikeouts in 161.1 innings. The Rays are 3-2 in McClanahan’s last five outings. In McClanahan’s last game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 25, he gave up four earned runs, three home runs, and six hits in five innings.
Javier has given up 87 hits, 17 home runs, and 50 walks, while also tossing 187 strikeouts in 142.2 innings. The Astros are 5-0 in Javier’s last five games. In Javier’s last outing vs. the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 25, he allowed no earned runs and one hit with eight strikeouts in six innings.
Prior to the set, the Rays ranked 17th in batting average (.241), 20th in on-base percentage (.309), 21st in RBI (619), 24th in slugging percentage (.378), and 25th in home runs (134). Third baseman Yandy Diaz leads the Rays in batting average (.292) and on-base percentage (.398). Left fielder Randy Arozarena is tops on the Rays in home runs (20), RBI (88) and hits (152).
Before the series, the Astros ranked fourth in home runs (208), fifth in slugging percentage (.423), seventh in on-base percentage (.320) and RBI (695) and 13th in batting average (.247). Designated hitter Yordan Alvarez is tops for the Orioles in batting average (.304), home runs (37), and on-base percentage (.407). Right fielder Kyle Tucker is tops for the Astros in RBI (104). Second baseman Jose Altuve has a team-leading 152 hits.
The Astros swept a three-game set in Tampa from Sept. 19-21 in the previous series between the teams.
Prior to the set, the Rays were 75-81 against the spread overall and 37-38 against the spread on the road. For over/under, the Rays are 70-76-10 overall and 35-37-3 on the road.
Before the series, the Astros were 84-72 against the spread overall and 39-36 against the spread at home. In terms of over/under, the Astros are 58-90-8 overall and 30-41-4 at home.
The Astros will add to their win total as they gear up for another World Series run.
Written by Rolando Rosa, our US sports betting industry expert.