Friday, October 16, 2020, Petco Park, San Diego, California, 6:07 p.m. ET
Astros vs. Rays Betting Preview: Astros (+115), Rays (-128)
The Houston Astros shoot for a three-game winning streak, all in potential season-ending contests, when they face the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Friday. The Astros have been streaky this postseason, winning four straight, then losing four of five before winning the past two.
The Astros have out-homered the Rays 8-7 so far in the series, with three of Houston’s homers coming in the first inning of the past three games. Jose Altuve had two of the first-inning blasts before George Springer hit the first pitch of the bottom of the first for a homer Thursday in Houston’s 4-3. Springer now has 19 career postseason homers, one more than Altuve.
Left-hander Framber Valdez is Houston’s scheduled Game 6 starter. He was the losing pitcher in Game 1 on Sunday, allowing two runs in six innings. He had no previous postseason experience before beating the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland A’s in his first two starts this fall, helping the Astros earn a spot in the ALCS.
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay will look to end a rare two-game losing streak on Friday. En route to the best record in the AL during the regular season (40-20), the Rays had just a pair of losing streaks. Unfortunately for them, they went on to lose a third straight on both occasions, and in fact dropped five in a row bridging July and August.
The Rays have been out-hit 41-32 in the series, with just six of those hits coming with runners in scoring position. They’ve gone just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the past two games, making them 6-for-31 (.194) over the five games. Fortunately for them, the Astros have been equally as bad, also going 6-for-31.
Lefty Blake Snell earned the win in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 victory in Game 1, allowing a first-inning run but no more in his five-inning outing. He also had a loss and a save against the Astros in last year’s playoffs, and he is 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA against Houston in six career regular-season meetings.
ALCS Betting Pick for Game 6: Astros vs. Rays
A rematch of pitchers from just five days ago favors the hitters, which in turn favors the Astros, who have the deeper collection of quality batters. Both Snell and Valdez pitched into and out of trouble in their Game 1 starts, where a couple of key hits here and there could have made the final score a lot higher than the 2-1 finish.
The Astros own all the momentum at this point. The pressure is on Tampa Bay, which all of a sudden is staring at earning an unwanted chapter in baseball history if they were to blow a 3-0 series lead. Everything points to this thing going to a Game 7.
Astros vs. Rays Betting Pick:
Astros 6, Rays 4
ALCS Best Bet for Game 6: Astros vs. Rays
One of the reasons Game 1 was so low-scoring was that both teams entered the series with a rested bullpen, which resulted in no runs being scored after the starters left the game relatively early. That won’t be the case in Game 6, with both clubs having exhausted their bullpens in Game 5.
It’s possible either team will score more than the 7 1/2 runs being offered in the over/under. Put the teams together and this could be real easy, especially when you consider that this game will start an hour later than Game 5, which means the shadows will cease being an issue sooner.
Astros vs. Rays Best Bet: OVER 7 1/2 total runs (-120)
–Field Level Media