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Tuesday night the Rays host the Astros. Tampa Bay sends ace Shane McClanahan to the mound. Can he slow down the dangerous Houston lineup? Handicapper Ben Rajavuori gives us his best MLB bet for Tuesday night here.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros Prediction, Pick, Odds: Can Shane McClanahan Shut Down the Astros?

Rays vs. Astros Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: September 20, 2022
  • Game Time: 6:40 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: MLB.TV

Rays vs. Astros Odds

  • Run Line: Rays -1 (+110), Astros +1 (-132)
  • Total: Over 6 (-110), Under 6 (+105)
  • Moneyline: Rays (-144) , Astros (+128)

Click Here for Rays vs. Astros Odds

The Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros meet tonight from Tropicana Field for game two of the series as the Rays fight for a playoff berth. The Rays are currently one game behind the Blue Jays for the top wild-card spot but are one game ahead of the Mariners for the second wild-card spot. The Rays are -150 favorites for tonight's matchup after dropping game one as slight -110 favorites. Can they bounce back with their ace on the mound? I think so, and there are a few reasons why I love the Rays tonight.

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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros Prediction

For starters, the Astros clinched the AL West title once again last night. That's a pretty big deal, and it's safe to say the team may lose a little focus on the field today. I was surprised to see Dusty Baker play so many of his regulars, but it appears the lineup is mostly normal. Yordan Alvarez is the biggest name missing from the roster tonight, and Martin Maldonado is starting over Christian Vazquez in the catcher spot. Maldonado has just a .184 average, while Vazquez is hitting .273 on the year, so there is a sizeable drop-off at the bottom of the order.

Aside from those few players, the roster is mostly normal, but as I said before, that doesn't mean the team will be completely focused today. I'm sure they had a fan time last night celebrating their divisional clinch, as most teams usually do, and it's not like they have to be worried about losing the one seed in the Al either, as the Yankees are eight games behind. At this point, it would take some mighty heroics for the Yankees to catch the Astros.

Maybe if the Astros were starting against a worse starter that they could hit around a bit, I would like them even with a lack of motivation, but they are going up against Shane McClanahan, who has the second-lowest ERA in the league.

Rays ace, Shane McClanahan, has a 2.13 ERA in 25 starts this season, good for second in the league behind Justin Verlander. In his start off the IL against the Blue Jays, he went five innings with no earned runs and only three hits, so any worry of the injury still affecting him is dismissed. McClanahan has only allowed over two runs in four of his 25 starts. He has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the league, and the Astros hitters are not familiar with his stuff. The only active player in the lineup who has seen McClanahan before is Trey Mancini, and he 3-17 off him.

This game comes down to a motivational factor. The Rays are in the thick of a tight playoff race, while the Astros locked up the division last night. The Rays dropped game one, which means they will be extra locked in tonight. The Rays are 11-5 at home when McClanahan starts. The Astros are 5-6 when Javier starts on the road. This line has inflated from game one for a reason. I'm backing the Rays tonight.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros Pick

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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