2019 MLB – Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros taking place? Friday 4th October, 2019 – 19:05 (UK)

Where is Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros taking place? Minute Maid Park

What is the expected weather for Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros? Partly cloudy, 33c

What television channel is Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros on? BT Sport 1 in the UK / Fox Sports in the US

Where can I stream Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros? BT Sport subscribers can stream the match live via the BT Sport website or app in the UK / Fox Sports GO, MLB.tv in the US

Where can I get tickets for Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros? https://www.mlb.com/tickets/season-tickets

What was the outcome in the last meeting? Tampa Bay Rays 9 – 8 Houston Astros

THE TEAM NEWS

TAMPA BAY RAYS

  • The Rays delivered a solid performance in the AL Wild Card Game, topping the Oakland Athletics 5-1 to earn a berth on the AL Divisional Series. Tampa Bay enter this game with a 3-2 mark in the last five games and a 7-3 record in their last 10 outings, though. They ended the regular season on a two-game losing streak before topping the A’s in the Wild Card Game.
  • Eric Sogard is dealing with a foot injury and while he’s expected to be part of the ALDS roster, he’s not expected to be available for this contest. Yandy Diaz is one player to watch for the Rays after he went deep twice against Oakland on Wednesday. He connected 14 home runs while hitting for .267 during the regular season.
  • Tyler Glasnow is expected to get the start here for the Rays. The right-hander struggled with injuries during the 2019 season but when he was on the mound, he was pretty effective as evidenced by the four starts he made in September. He went 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 12 starts during 2019.

HOUSTON ASTROS

  • The Astros were the best team in the American League during the 2019 season, as evidenced by their MLB-best 107-55 record, and they will have home-field advantage during the entirety of the postseason. They ended the regular season on a strong note as well, winning their last three games and eight of their last 10.
  • Carlos Correa is the only injury concern for the Astros ahead of this game, but he is expected to be part of the ALDS roster as he has been progressing well from his rehab. AL MVP candidate Alex Bregman (41 HR, 112 RBI, 1.015 OPS) is one to watch, although rookie Yordan Alvarez should also be someone to keep an eye on in this contest.
  • AL Cy Young favourite Justin Verlander will get the nod for the Astros in Game 1. The veteran is coming off one of the best seasons in his career, as he ended 2019 with the third-best WHIP (0.80) in MLB history. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts during the regular season.

THE PREDICTION

The Rays advanced to the AL Division Series for the first time in franchise history, and they are in uncharted territory at the moment. The Astros seem to have the stronger lineup, the better pitching staff, and own a clear advantage with Verlander on the mound, as well as playing at home in the series opener. Houston should be clear favourites ahead of this contest.

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