Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros – 2020 ALCS Game 3
The Tampa Bay Rays took a 2-0 lead in the ALCS, thanks to a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday. Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a three-run homer off the bat of Manuel Margot. Charlie Morton tossed five shutout innings for the Rays and the bullpen did the rest, yielding two runs in four innings to preserve the victory.
Trailing by two, Game 3 will be a go tomorrow as the Astros will now be the home team. Houston is now 5-3 in the playoff. The Rays are 7-2 overall.
Rays vs. Astros Odds
|Rays to Win||-115|
|Astros to Win||-105|
Oddsmakers are riding the Tampa Bay train now as they get the -1.5 in this contest, despite being the “road” team. The pitching matchup looks to favor Houston so giving up 1.5 runs is a little steep.
The total is set at 8.5 which may not be eclipsed in this series no matter how long it goes. This could be the number to keep paying attention to as the series moves forward.
Rays vs. Astros Preview
This is a must win game for the Astros who are simply not going to come back from a 3-0 deficit. They have the right hurler on the hill in Jose Urquidy, who had an outstanding regular season but has struggled in the playoffs. The right-hander was 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts, boasting an impressive 1.01 WHIP. However, he has a 5.19 ERA in two playoff starts, giving up four runs in 4.1 innings in his start in the ALDS.
Tampa Bay counters with left-hander Ryan Yarbrough. The left-hander was the victim of a minimal amount of support from his team during the regular season, posting a 1-4 record despite a solid 3.56 ERA in 11 appearances. Yarbrough has made just one relief appearance in the postseason, back on October 8 when he allowed two runs in five innings against New York. That gives him just one appearance in the last two weeks.
A stat to be watching in this game is how well Houston performs with runners in scoring position. The Astros stranded 11 in Game 2, going 1-8 with runners in scoring position. The team had been very good in this category entering the series, going 16-51, but have wasted numerous opportunities in this series as they are just 3-16.
Tampa Bay is not doing much better in this category, hitting 2-12 (.167) with runners in scoring position. However, they are getting the superior pitching and defense as the team has made several outstanding plays. They are starting to look like a team of destiny.
Rays vs. Astros Pick for Game 3
I thought that the first couple of innings of Game 2 would prove to be critical as it would take Houston starter Lance McCullers, Jr. a couple of innings to get command of his stuff after a long layoff. For this reason, I saw the Rays jumping out to an early lead on their way to victory. That proved to be the exact scenario as Tampa Bay got the three-run homer.
Now I look for the reverse to be true. Yarbrough has just one appearance in the last two weeks, and it is likely that it will take him one or two innings to get a feel for his pitches. That gives the Astros the opportunity to jump out in front and that is what I expect to see them do here.
Take the Astros to win, 4-3.
Astros to win-105