October 21, 2020

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ALCS Game 4: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros: Analysis & Best Bets – 10/14/20

By: Jack O’Keefe & Trent Pruitt

The fat lady is warming up her vocal cords and stepping up to the mic because this series is ovahhh. Like Jack said in yesterday’s preview, unless you’re the 2004 Red Sox, then you can consider this one done. Dusty Baker will send Zack Greinke to the hill tonight to try and salvage a game while Kevin Cash counters with Tyler Glasnow. Certainly an exciting matchup on paper, so let’s break down the numbers and Jack and I will look to cash a couple of tickets tonight! 

Money Line: TB -143, HOU +132

Run Line: TB -1.5 (+108), HOU +1.5 (-128)

Total: 8 (O -123, U +103)

First Pitch: 7:40 CST, Petco Park, San Diego, CA

Trent’s Analysis & Best Bet

I like to read a lot of analysis from different sports bettors before making my picks – we’ll call it doing my due diligence. And today everyone was split with this game and that’s where I stood heading into writing this preview as well. For starters, the Astros have their backs against the wall and they’ll rely on their ace to try and get back in this series. On the flip side, the Rays have a beautiful starting rotation that continues to roll out big names (and performances) in these games. Tampa’s bullpen has been phenomenal as well so it’s hard to make a pick on the side here. I think I’d lean with the plus money on the Astros if there was a gun to my head. So I’m going to head to the prop sheet as the total doesn’t intrigue me either. We hit the under the past two nights with the oddsmakers setting the totals at 8.5. With Houston’s inability to score baserunners and Tampa Bay’s offense being, quite honestly, pretty cold, it was like taking candy from a baby. 

With my prop bet, I’m going back to the second most thrilling bet in all of baseball – give me the over on 25.5 combined hits, runs, and errors by the Rays and Astros. The Astros have been hitting the ball, averaging 8.66 hits per game throughout this series. They just haven’t been able to get these guys home and I believe that will change tonight. I’ll back this up with Glasnow’s head to head stats. Back in the the 2019 playoffs Glasnow faced the Astros twice, going 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and giving up nine hits and six earned runs. Springer is 2-3, Reddick 2-2, and Bregman is 1-2. Houston has their backs against the wall and I think with their playoff experience, they’ll put up some hits and runs tonight and not go down without a fight. On the flip side, Zack Greinke hasn’t been sharp this postseason. He has a 5.19 ERA across 8.2 IP over two starts this playoffs and he’s yet to make it through five complete innings. Look for the former Padres players that came over in the Tommy Pham trade, Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe to have a nice game. Those two are a combined 13-37 with five bombs and eight RBI’s against Greinke. Strap it in as this bet provides us with action from wire to wire. Let’s cash a ticket! P.S. – I hope the Astros win tonight so we get more baseball over the coming days. 

-Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)

Jack’s Analysis & Best Bet

Wow, that is pretty much all I can say about the ALCS right now. I am ecstatic for fans of the Tampa Bay Rays, you all are on the cusp of the second World Series appearance in franchise history! On the flipside, I cannot even begin to think how agonizing this series has been for fans of the Houston Astros. The Astros have outhit the Rays in every game thus far (26 hits for Houston and 17 hits for Tampa Bay), but the Astros have not cashed in with runners in scoring position and have drawn tough breaks defensively. Jose Altuve committed four errors in 48 games played for Houston this season. In the last two games, he has committed three errors in the field, all significant points in the game that the Rays generated runs from the fielding blunders. 

Zack Greinke gets the ball for Houston today, and he will look to eat up more innings than he did in his previous outing against Oakland (4.2 IP). He has yet to pitch beyond the fifth inning in the postseason, so Dusty Baker may be forced to dip into his young bullpen earlier than he would like in an elimination game. Tyler Glasnow gets the ball for Tampa Bay, and he will be primed to pitch deep in the game today after only throwing 2.1 innings against New York on Friday. The Rays offense was held in check for eight out of the nine innings played yesterday. Had it not have been for the Jose Altuve error in the sixth inning, we may be looking at this series with a different vantage point. I thought Greinke was going to be the saving grace workhorse for the Astros in the ALCS, but I am not so sure of that being a reality now. The Astros are a bleak 2-4 in games started behind Zack Greinke recently, and I think the Astros are mentally wiped from this series. I like the Rays to close it out tonight with their ace, Tyler Glasnow, leading the way for Tampa Bay. Give me the Rays ML (-143) for my best bet in this game.

-Jack O’Keefe (@jpokeefe1s)

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