First pitch: 6:07 p.m. ET
Venue: Petco Park (San Diego)
Probable pitchers: Framber Valdez (5-3, 3.57 ERA) vs. Blake Snell (4-2, 3.24 ERA)
Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays Predictions
Despite dropping the first three meetings, the Astros have managed to stave off elimination and last till at least a Game 6.
In the process of this intense back-and-forth series, only low-scoring outcomes have played out in manufacturing a flawless 5-0 record for under wagers.
It’s rare to see one side of the total sweep an entire postseason series of more than four games. Will this perfect run stay true?
I think it will, for one more game at least. First of all, tonight’s matchup is a rematch of last Sunday’s series opener, when Framber Valdez and Blake Snell kicked things off with an enjoyable 2-1 duel (which we had the under in). That’s still the lowest-scoring contest of the series.
Snell continued his nice work this postseason in the effort, allowing only one run in five solid innings. That last number gets me the most — his five frames — as Snell has not yet completed six innings in an outing yet this year. The former American League Cy Young has come close a few times and I just don’t see that continuing. A longer day at the office would point to the southpaw excelling.
Valdez, meanwhile, was arguably the better pitcher that night, as he looked sharp in notching a quality start and racking up eight Ks. The 26-year-old lefty has been just fabulous throughout these playoffs, yielding only four runs total in his three starts, spanning 18 innings. October is hosting the legit ascension of Valdez.
Based on Game 1 and Tampa’s hitting splits, this is an opponent Valdez can continue to take advantage of. The Rays strike out at an alarming rate against left-handed pitching — once every three at-bats, to be specific — sustaining a tendency that carried on from last season.
Valdez was mostly in control thanks to his ability to minimize the amount of pull-contact off him, something that he vastly improved upon in 2020 (34.6 percent). Another fine showing from Valdez along with the usual from Snell keeps the streak.
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular season: “19-42-4,” -28.91 units
Postseason: 10-4, +3.4 units
Last Result: Dodgers-Braves Over 9 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win one unit (postseason 0.5 unit except first one)