Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 2020 ALCS Game 6

By Admir Aljic in MLB
| October 16, 2020 4:43 am PST

The suddenly red-hot Houston Astros look to force a Game 7 when they take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. Houston was down 3-0 but has battled back to win the last two contests, including Thursday’s victory as Christian Correa drilled a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to give Houston a 4-3 win.

Now the Astros look to stay alive, sending left-hander Framber Valdez to face righty Blake Snell in a rematch of Game 1, won by Tampa Bay, 2-1.

Astros vs. Rays Odds

BET ODDS
Astros +1.5 -170
Rays -1.5 +145
Astros to Win +115
Rays to Win -135
Over 8.0 -110
Under 8.0 -110

Even with Houston back in the series, oddsmakers do not seem to have a lot of confidence in them. Tampa Bay comes in at -135 on the moneyline.

The previous contest between these two should say a lot about your decision to bet on the spread and the total. Three runs were scored in Game 1, making the under seem like the logical pick at 8.0. The Rays at -1.5 are given odds of +145, but that looks like a bet to avoid if the first matchup is any indicator.

Astros vs. Rays Preview

The Game 1 was a great pitchers’ duel as Tampa Bay scored single runs in the fourth and fifth on their way to a 2-1 victory. Both Snell and Valdez were solid, as Snell allowed one run in five innings and Valdez allowed two in six frames.

That was Game 1, however. Game 6 should have a great deal of intensity to it because Houston is now back in the series. They have a legitimate shot of winning it all to advance to the World Series while Tampa Bay has to feel a lot of pressure after they have allowed the Astros back into the series.

The pitching matchup is still the key. Valdez is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three post-season appearances. This after a 5-3, 3.57 performance during the regular season. Snell is also 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA in three starts. He was 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts in the regular season.

For Houston, their chance to force a Game 7 is going to depend on their ability to hit home runs. After a slow start to the series, the team now has seven homers in five games, with George Springer and José Altuve combining for five. Correa proved in Game 5 that the long ball is the key for Houston.

For Tampa Bay, they are going to need to climb on the back of Snell if they are going to win advance. This team is not producing with runners in scoring position, recording just one hit in their last 10 opportunities. They have now scored four runs or less in four of the first five games of the series.

Astros vs. Rays Pick

The Rays have all the pressure on them while Houston has to be sky-high after the walk-off homerun. At any other time that could have been a crippler for the Rays, but they have their ace on the hill for Friday’s game.

Snell was not only brilliant in Game 1, but he ensured that an early run did not turn into two or three runs. He made sure his team stayed in the game, and that has to give Tampa Bay a lot of confidence entering this contest. Even if they give up an early run, they know their starter is not going to get hammered.

I think this turns the pressure on to Houston, who has to feel that if they have opportunities early in the game and do not come through that their post-season run is about to come to an end. I expect a lot of tension which can lead to a couple of big mistakes that turn the tide of this contest. I think a big two-run error gives Tampa Bay a 3-1 victory.

Pick
  • Tampa Bay to Win
    -135

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