With the Astros at home and leading the AL West I thought they would come out at a bit of a stronger favorite in this spot, but the odds makers are giving a lot of respect to Tampa Bay.
MLB odds makers came out with this game making Tampa Bay about a +120 underdog, since then the line has dropped a little bit. Right now the best odds can get on Tampa Bay is at +112 at 5 Dimes. I think this is a spot where the odds makers have to make the home team the favorite but actually this game is much more of a coin flip I can go either way, and I think any kind of plus money gives us great value on the Rays.
Tampa Bay Rays
Jake Odorizzi gets the start for Tampa Bay and comes in with a 1.13 whip, 3.09 ERA, , 99 strikeouts, and a 6-6 record. He is coming off arguably his worst start of the year allowing six earned runs off of nine hits in six innings against the Braves. In his last 10 starts, not including the Atlanta start, he only had one other bad start which was in Toronto where he again allowed six earned runs. Besides those two games, in his last 10 games he has been really sharp. He has already faced the Astros once this year where he pitched five innings in only allowed two hits and no earned runs, and on the road he has an ERA under 4.00 with a good whip of 1.27. This is a really good bounce back spot for him.
Tampa Bay ranks 26th in runs scored per game at 3.74, 19th in OPS at .702, and 24th and team batting average hitting .246. Right now they are only a few games out in the wildcard race so they are right in it. A positive sign for them today is that all their offense of statistics go up on the road. I look for their offense, which can put up runs in bunches at times, to have a solid day at the plate.
Scott Feldman gets the call with a 4.17 ERA, 1.29 whip, 51 strikeouts, and a 5-5 record. He has been a nice surprise for this Houston Astros team and is having his best year in years. He is coming off a really solid outing in San Francisco where he allowed zero earned runs off of four hits in six innings. In his last 10 games he has pitch really well, but at home he still has a pretty high 5.56 ERA and 1.50 whip. Although Tampa Bay is not the highest ranked offense in the major leagues they should be able to get a few runs off him today and give enough support to Odorizzi.
Houston ranks 10th in runs scored per game at 4.36, 10th in OPS at .732, and 27th in team batting average hitting .242. They do have a lot better success in Minute Maid Park than on the road but I think they will have a tough time today against Odorizzi. Luckily for them while they struggled a little bit the last few weeks, so did the Angels. Even more recently though the Astros seem to be starting to come back around. Still, in their last 10 games offensively they haven't really broken out, only scoring six runs one time and five runs twice. Despite those three games in the last couple weeks they simply have not had any big innings.
Although Feldman had a nice season so far I think Odorizzi is the better pitcher, and I think the odds makers believe this as well making Tampa Bay such a small underdog. That line is really telling so look for Tampa Bay to go ahead and pull off the upset today.
MLB Pick: Rays +112 at 5Dimes