Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros Game 5 Pick

October 10, 6:07 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Astros -260/Rays +185

After splitting the first four games of this American League divisional-round playoff series, the Astros and Rays meet for a deciding Game 5 Thursday afternoon in H-Town. Houston is a huge favorite for this one, throwing one of its Cy Young candidates, but Tampa just beat the Astros' other Cy Young candidate in Game 4. How are we playing this one with our free MLB pick?

MLB Betting Odds

MLB's playoff betting odds opened Houston at -275 over Tampa Bay, with an over/under of seven runs. Early betting action then dipped the Astros to -260, but that's still a ton for a single MLB game.

Houston could also be found at around -125, giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.

Rays vs. Astros Set-Up

Houston took the first two games of this series at home by scores of 6-2 and 3-1, but Tampa Bay responded by taking Games 3 and 4 on its home field by scores of 10-3 and 4-1. So the Rays have outscored the Astros 17-13 in this series.

Houston finished 11 games ahead of Tampa in the regular-season standings, but the Rays took the season series from the Astros four games to three.

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Game 5 Starting Arms

Cole, by our strict standards, finished 25/33 on quality starts this season and five for his last six. Then in Game 2 of this ALDS last Saturday, he was awesome, throwing 7 2/3 innings of four-hit, shutout ball, with 15 strikeouts against just one walk. So over his previous seven starts, Cole's allowed only six runs – five earned - and 24 hits through 49 2/3 innings, with 89 whiffs against just eight walks!

On the season, the Astros are 27-7 with Cole, 14-0 over his last 14 starts!

Over two starts earlier this year against Tampa Cole allowed eight runs – five earned - and 11 hits through 12 2/3 innings, with 24 strikeouts and one walk. Houston split those two games.

Glasnow finished 5/12 on quality starts this year, 0/4, since returning from a long stint on the DL a month ago. But he's been effective as an opener. In Game 1 of this series last Friday, he threw four shutout innings before giving up a two-run homer to Jose Altuve in the bottom of the fifth. So over his previous four outings, Glasnow's allowed just those two runs and eight hits through 14 2/3 innings, with 21 K's against six bases on balls.

For the season, Tampa is 10-3 when Glasnow starts, 4-1 over his last five outings.

In his only other career start against Houston, back in March of this season, Glasnow allowed just one run and six hits through five innings of a 3-1 Rays victory.

Game 5 Batting Splits

Tampa Bay batted .253/.325/.436 against right-handed pitching this season.

Houston batted .274/.349/.492 against RH pitching this season. Those numbers are why we rank this lineup as the best in Baseball in this split this year.

The Astros are 3/21 (.143) with runners in scoring position over the last three games, but that looks like a stat due for a correction. Houston hit .268 with RISP during the regular season.

The Bullpens

The Rays bullpen posted a Major League-low 3.66 ERA this season and a 1.20 WHIP while holding opponents to a .694 OPS. So far, in this ALDS, Tampa relievers have allowed six ER and 20 hits through 19 2/3 innings.

The Astros pen put up a 3.75 ERA this season and a 1.20 WHIP while also holding foes to a .694 OPS. In this series, Houston relievers have allowed six ER and 19 hits through 12 innings.

MLB Betting Trends

  • Tampa Bay finished 48-33 on the road this season.
  • Tampa Bay played 62-41 against right-handed starters this season.
  • Houston finished an ML-best 60-21 at home this season.
  • Houston played 68-44 against RH starters this season.

Totals Report

  • Overs played 77-75 in Rays games this season.
  • Unders played 84-71 in Astros games this season.
  • Unders played 39-37 in games played at Minute Maid Park this season.
  • Unders played 4-3 in Rays-Astros games this season.
  • Totals are split 2-2 in this NLDS.

Rays at Astros Prediction 10/10/19

Cole will be hard-pressed to match his previous outing, but he still gets the check-mark in the pitching match-up. And Houston owns the edge with the sticks. So we like the Astros for Game 5, and we'll chase the better price by giving the run and a half on the run line.

Free Pick: 
Take the Astros -260
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