Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Game 2, 2020 ALCS

By Admir Aljic in MLB
| October 12, 2020 3:50 am PDT

Can the Tampa Bay Rays (1-0) take a 2-0 lead in the ALCS when they take on the Houston Astros on Monday? That is the goal after the Rays fell behind 1-0, then took the lead in a 2-1 clipping of Houston. Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with his first homerun of the postseason.

Randy Arozarena tied the score in the first with his first homer and Tampa Bay took the lead an inning later on an RBI single by Mike Zunino. Blake Snell earned the victory, allowing one run in five innings and Diego Castillo closed out the game with 1.2 innings of outstanding relief.

The loss is just the second for Houston in seven playoff games and this is the first time that they have trailed in the postseason. Tampa Bay moves to 6-2 in the playoffs.

Astros vs. Rays Odds

BET ODDS
Astros +1.5 -165
Rays -1.5 +140
Astros to Win +110
Rays to Win -130
Over 8.0 -110
Under 8.0 -110

Oddsmakers had that Game 1 total at 8.5 but drop Game 2 to 8.0 after a 2-1 final in the first contest of the series. Another low scoring game, which is likely between these two pitching staffs, could keep the total declining.

At -130, oddsmakers see the Rays as the clear favorite. The pitching matchup favors them as well.

Astros vs. Rays Preview

After a nail-biter in Game 1, Game 2 has the potential for a little more scoring, at least for the Rays. The pitching matchup features Lance McCullers, Jr. for Houston and Charlie Morton for Tampa Bay.   McCullers had a solid regular season, going 3-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 11 starts but he was hit hard by Oakland in his one playoff start, giving up five runs, four earned, in four innings. He did strike out five.

That may be a cause for concern, but the righty has plenty of playoff experience, so he knows how to rebound. The one concern should be that he has pitched just once since September 28 and may take two or three innings to get command of his pitches. That will be something to watch.

Tampa Bay counters with Morton who was very good in his one start, allowing one run in five innings to the Yankees. Morton was 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA during the regular season, but saved his best work for New York, allowing four hits while striking out six in the Game 3 victory.

As with Game 1, this contest will be about the starters. Both bullpens were exceptional in the first contest of the series as the Astros got three scoreless innings and the Rays four from their relievers. That gives Houston a 2.28 ERA and Tampa a 3.06. If McCullers falters early, the Astros have the arms to save him. Expect the righty to be on a short leash.

Astros vs. Rays Pick

I had to crow a little as I saw a low-scoring contest in Game 1, believing the Rays would win 3-1. I expect a little more of that here in Game 2, but there will be a few more runs to be had. McCullers has great stuff, but it is going to take him at least two innings to get command of his curve, so that means Tampa Bay has to jump on him early.

Morton looked great against the Yankees, who have as dangerous of a lineup as you will find. However, no one should expect that kind of performance again. He will be good, but not dominant.

I see Tampa Bay scoring early and hanging on. Take the Rays to win, 4-3.

Pick
  • Tampa Bay to Win
    -130

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