Neither the Astros or Rays are inspiring much betting confidence as of late, but they do offer up a great pitching match-up to bet Saturday at the Trop.
Astros-Rays Saturday Betting Odds
As of this writing early Saturday morning the best price we could find on Houston and Dallas Keuchel was the -110 offered at WagerWeb, while Tampa and Jake Odorizzi were getting +110 at Pinnacle. And most of the MLB odds were listing a total on today's game of 6.5 runs, although there were a few sevens out there.
Tampa took Game 1 of this series Friday night 3-1, snapping a four-game losing streak. But even with the victory the Rays have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
At 44-45 Tampa now sits 4.5 games behind division-leading New York in the AL East, and four games back in the scrum for the second American League wild-card spot.
Houston, meanwhile, has lost four in a row, scoring a total of four runs in the process, and six of its last seven. At 49-40 the Astros' lead in the AL West is down to a half-game over the second-place Angels.
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams; last season the Rays took five of seven games from the Astros, with five of those games playing UNDER.
Odorizzi (4-5, 2.47) is coming off the DL today to make his first start in a month. In his most recent outing back on June 5 he held Seattle scoreless through 4 1/3 innings, then left the game with a strained oblique. For the season Odorizzi has allowed 63 hits through 77 innings, walked 15 and struck out 63. Tampa is 6-6 in Odorizzi's starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 10-2 margin, thanks in part to some poor run support.
In his only career start against Houston, last June, Odorizzi threw 7 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just one hit, walking two while whiffing 10, in an 8-0 Rays victory.
Keuchel (11-3, 2.14) is 12-for 18 on quality starts this year, and two for his last three. Tuesday he gave up three runs in six innings against Cleveland, pitching to the score just a bit, after taking the mound with an early 4-0 lead. And over his last three starts he's allowed just those three runs through 23 innings. On the season Keuchel has allowed just 97 hits through 130 innings, with a 110/32 strikeouts/to/walks ratio. The Astros are 13-5 in Keuchel's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER 10-8.
Keuchel started once against Tampa last year, allowing four runs through eight innings of a 5-2 Houston loss.
Saturday's Batting Splits
Houston ranks 22nd in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .306 team on-base percentage. Tampa, meanwhile, ranks 12th against left-handed pitching with a .320 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Trop this season are 24-19 on the OVERS, even though they've averaged only 7.5 runs per. Apparently odds makers have been under-posting their totals on Rays home games.
Both teams are down a stick, as Houston plays without George Springer (13 HR) and Tampa plays without Steven Souza (15 HR).
Astros-Rays Saturday Free Picks
We're almost tempted to give Odorizzi a short edge in the pitching match-up, but he's liable to be on a short leash today. And turning the game over to the Tampa bullpen in the sixth inning might be dangerous. So we'll go with Houston. Also, our guess is runs might be hard to come by at the Trop today.