Date & Time: March 29, 2019, 7:10 PM (EDT)
Location:Tropicana Field Tampa Bay, Florida
Betting Odds: Tampa Bay +128 / Houston -138
Total O/U: 7
One of the best pitching matchups of the night, Gerrit Cole of the Astros goes up against Charlie Morton and the Rays. Morton, the former Astro, will be making his first start against his former team (7:10 PM EST).
These 2018 teammates were big reasons the Astros had baseball’s best starting rotation. They led MLB in ERA (3.16) and strikeouts (1,101) and were second in WHIP (1.12) and innings (955 1/3). Cole was 10th in the AL with a 2.88 ERA; Morton was 14th at 3.13.
In yesterday’s game, the Astros knocked off the Rays 5-1 in an all home run game. Springer, Altuve and Brantley all went yard for the Astros while Meadows scored the only run for the Rays on a solo shot. The Astros outhit the Rays 10-4 and Verlander racked up 9K’s across seven innings in his winning performance.
The Astros managed to beat up the reigning AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell yesterday, who pitched six innings and gave up six hits, five earned runs and two walks while only striking out three.
Yesterday’s matchup gave us six runs in an battle of the aces. Today’s game should produce more runs but provide the same results with the Astros picking up another win with relative ease.
HOUSTON ASTROS vs. TAMPA BAY RAYS FREE PREDICTION
Baseball Pick: ML Winner – Houston, RL Winner – Houston, O/U – Over
Confidence Level: 4/5
In his first season in Houston, Cole finished fifth in the AL Cy Young ballot after going 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA, 276 K’s and an opponent batting average of .198.
The Rays had just four players hit 10 or more home runs for the team last season (tied for fewest in the league with Detroit). Only one of those four players is still with the team (Willy Adames).
Alex Bregman posted a .553 on-base percentage in last year’s playoffs, good for fifth best all-time (minimum 35 PA).
In Morton’s last eight starts the combined score is 9.9, while in Cole’s last 11 starts the averaged combined score is 9.4 and the O/U is 7-3 in Cole’s last 10 starts.