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Our picks for today's MLB playoff action
ANALYSIS

Tuesday brings us a one-game slate thanks to the Yankees sweep of the Minnesota Twins. Can the Houston Astros join the Yankees in the ALCS or will the Tampa Bay Rays take the series back to Houston for a Game 5 showdown.

Here are Today’s MLB Picks:

Houston Astros @ Tampa Bay Rays

1u – Tampa Bay Rays Under 2.5 Total Runs @ -102

- Justin Verlander has a 2.34 ERA on the road this season

- The Tampa Bay Rays have hit worse at home (.249/.324/.420) than on the road

After watching the entirety of Game 1 when it felt like the Rays could not lay a bat on Verlander I am not confident they will be able to in this one either. Verlander has a higher ERA on the road this season, but his underlying numbers such as his batting average, slugging and wOBA against are actually lower in road starts. The Rays bats woke up last night against Greinke, but Verlander is a very different proposition, as they found out in Game 1.

1u – Houston Astros to be Leading After Two Innings @ +140

- Diego Castillo has allowed a run in the first two innings of his last four starts

- Justin Verlander has a .180 batting average against the first time through opposing line ups

The one thing the Rays cannot afford in this game is to fall behind like they did last night. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I foresee happening based on the numbers of these two pitchers. Castillo was very successful in his first two outings as an opener, but things have been less successful since. He has allowed at least one earned run in all of those starts, while Verlander has generally been pretty good early in games, allowing an average 0.3 runs per innings the first time through opposing batting orders.

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By Ben Rolfe

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Ben is a football guru with years of experience covering the NFL. You can always count on Ben to pick a winner on Sunday!

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