6:40 pm
September 20

Astros @ Rays

Who will WIN this matchup?

Houston Astros (97-51)

@ Tampa Bay Rays (82-65)


Starting Pitchers:

Javier (HOU): 9-9; 2.87 ERA

McClanahan (TB) 12-5; 2.13 ERA


Current odds:

Houston Astros: (+133)

Tampa Bay Rays: (-156)


The starting line-up for the Astros is as follows:

The starting line-up for the Rays is as follows:

As Houston prepares for the second game of its three-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Tampa Bay Rays — a rivalry that could play out again in the playoffs — the Astros will have to refresh after a postgame celebration.

Manager Dusty Baker’s group will be playing the game as American League West champions with a small “y” beside its name in the standings. Monday night’s 4-0 win keyed by starter Luis Garcia, leadoff hitter Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman helped the Astros arrive at their magic number to win the division.

Like they have against both leagues all season, the Astros (97-51) have battered balls and left the yard frequently on their way to not only owning the West, but also laying claim to the entire junior circuit as well. Yordan Alvarez bashed a trio of homers Friday in a 4-for-4 power show. His fourth hit was a scorching 109.3 mph single. He homered again Saturday then produced two hits and four RBIs on Sunday. Last week over six games, the 6-foot-5 slugger hit .520 with five homers and 10 RBIs for a 1.836 OPS, earning him AL Player of the Week honors.

Playing the second game of a stretch of 13 straight against winning clubs, the Rays (82-65) did very little — managing five hits against Garcia and relievers Hunter Brown and Hector Neris — and were blanked for the eighth time this season. Batting .311, Harold Ramirez had three of the Rays’ five hits, including a pair of doubles to the opposite field. Former Astro Jose Siri walked and stole his 14th base. Drew Rasmussen (10-6) received his second straight loss after earning wins in four of his five previous starts.

Making his 23rd start to go with five relief appearances, Cristian Javier (9-9, 2.87 ERA) takes the ball Tuesday for Houston. He won in Detroit Wednesday with six scoreless innings, allowing two hits to the Tigers while striking out eight in Houston’s 2-1 triumph. In one career start against the Rays on May 2, 2021, Javier received a no-decision after five innings. He allowed three runs on four hits while walking two and striking out four.

Shane McClanahan (12-5, 2.13) returned to the mound Thursday and fired five shutout innings in an 11-0 win to conclude the Rays’ five-game series over four days against the Blue Jays in Toronto. He will get the nod against Houston. In just one career appearance against the Astros, McClanahan pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief against them in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series on Oct. 16, 2020, a 7-4 Rays loss. He allowed five hits and three runs.

StreakSmarter Pick
Tampa Bay Rays