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

THE FACTS

When is Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros taking place? Sunday 6th October, 2019 – 02:07 (UK)

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

What is the expected weather for Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros? Clear, 29c

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 2 – 6 Houston Astros

THE TEAM NEWS

TAMPA BAY RAYS

  • The Rays were not able to repeat what they did in the AL Wild Card Game against the Oakland Athletics and struggled badly against the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the ALDS, mustering only five hits (one XBH). Going back to the regular season, they have posted a 4-3 mark in their last seven games and there’s no question they need to show consistency if they want to have a shot at turning things around.
  • Eric Sogard featured as a pinch-hitter for the Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS, so Tampa Bay shouldn’t have injury concerns heading into this contest. Austin Meadows is the player to watch for the Rays here, as he connected the team’s lone extra-base hit against Houston in Game 1 and was also one of the best hitters for Tampa Bay during the regular season (33 home runs and 89 RBI).
  • Blake Snell will get the ball for the Rays in Game 2 of the ALDS. The 2018 AL Cy Young winner struggled midway through the season and underwent surgery in July but made three starts in September to get some much-needed action before the start of the playoffs. He went 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA during the 2019 regular season.

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 that was shown in the first game of the ALDS against the Rays where they dominated the contest from start to finish on route to a solid 6-2 win. They are carrying a hot bat at the moment and mustered nine hits against the Rays in Game 1.
  • Carlos Correa managed to overcome his injury woes and started in Game 1 of the series, meaning the Astros do not have injury concerns ahead of this contest. One player to watch is Jose Altuve, who went 1-for-5 in Game 1 but connected a two-run home run on his lone hit.
  • AL Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole will get the start for the Astros in Game 2 and he has been one of the best pitchers in all of MLB during the second half of the season. He ended the regular season with a 20-5 mark, a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts, but has gone 16-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his final 22 starts of the season. Houston have won each of Cole’s last 13 starts as well.

THE PREDICTION

Much like Game 1 of the series, the Astros have a clear advantage here in the pitching department and that should be enough to list them as favourites to go up 2-0 in the ALDS. They have far more experience in these instances and have the home-field advantage on their side as well.

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