Astros vs. Rays (September 20): McClanahan, Tampa Bay seek important win over AL West champs

Eddie Griffin

The Houston Astros have wrapped up the AL West title, but with the best record in the AL in their sights, they don’t have any favors to hand out to the Tampa Bay Rays as the two continue their series tonight at Tropicana Field.

Houston’s 4-0 win in last night’s series opener means that the Seattle Mariners can’t mathematically overtake the Astros in the division, there is still the matter of winning the AL’s top seed for the upcoming MLB playoffs.

Entering tonight, the ‘Stros have an eight-game lead over the New York Yankees (88-58), against whom they won four of six head-to-head meetings this season.

Tonight, Houston will look to edge closer to locking down the AL’s best record–with a win over Tampa Bay, who occupies the second of the AL’s three wild-card spots.

But they will have to do it against Shane McClanahan, who marked his return from a stint on the IL by tossing five shutout innings in a win at Toronto last Thursday.

Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays Matchup Information and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: Houston Astros (97-51, 47-28 away, 1st in the AL West) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (82-65, 49-26 home, 3rd in the AL East)
  • Venue & Location: Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2022
  • Game Time: 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time
  • How to Watch Astros vs. Rays: TBS

Astros vs. Rays Pitching Matchup

  • Houston: RHP Cristian Javier (2022: 27 appearances – 22 starts, 9-9, 2.87 ERA)
  • Tampa Bay: LHP Shane McClanahan (2022: 25 starts, 12-5, 2.13 ERA)

Astros vs. Rays Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel. This article may also mention odds from our other recommended legal online sportsbooks.

Moneyline

  • Houston Astros +120
  • Tampa Bay Rays -142

Over/Under

  • Over 6.5 (-120)
  • Under 6.5 (-102)

Run Line

  • Houston Astros +1.5 (-194)
  • Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+160)

Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction and Betting Picks

Astros vs. Rays Prediction: Tampa Bay to win

Astros vs. Rays Picks: Tampa Bay ML (Best Value: -130 at Caesars Sportsbook) & Houston/Tampa Bay under (Best Value: -102 at FanDuel)

Pitching dominated last night’s opener, with Luis Garcia, Hunter Brown, and Hector Neris combining for a five-hit shutout.

Look for tonight’s game to be another low-scoring affair. Javier has allowed more than two earned runs only once in his last seven starts, while McClanahan has allowed more than two earned runs only three times in 16 home starts.

Since allowing four runs in 6.1 innings in a loss at Detroit on August 6, McClanahan has allowed just four runs total across his last four starts (25 IP).

Runs will be at a premium for both sides but look for the Rays to follow the Astros and Yankees as the third AL team to reach 50 home wins this season. This season, the Rays are 61-36 as a favorite, which includes a 42-19 record as a home favorite.

The Astros haven’t been an underdog a great deal this season, but they haven’t put together winning numbers when they have been, going 8-9 as a dog on the road and 9-11 overall as an underdog.

Those records actually give them some of the better win percentages in the league in those spots, but with their ace on the mound, the Rays are good value to back up their status as the favorite tonight.

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Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.