The game of the night in Major League Baseball on Monday is easily Astros vs Rays. In that contest, the defending World Series champions take on a Tampa Bay team in the middle of an historic hot streak at home to kick off their season. Here, we make our MLB picks for this game that could be the start of a series between the eventual finalists in the race for the American League pennant.
Astros vs Rays Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:||Rays Moneyline (-150)|
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This game will be played at Tropicana Field at 6:40 PM ET on Monday, April 24, 2023.
Why Bet on the Rays:
✅ This is a bad matchup for the Astros from a pitching perspective. Jose Urquidy has been serviceable this season, but has allowed four home runs already this year. He will have trouble keeping the ball in the yard against a Rays team that leads the league with 48 home runs this season.
✅ The Tampa Bay Rays are 13-0 at home this season, which has tied a MLB record for most home wins in a row to start a season. They will break that record on Monday night with a win over Houston at the Trop.
✅ Tampa has also allowed the fewest runs in baseball this season with 61 through their first 22 games, allowing just under three runs per game. Their pitching will be a key to their win here as well.
The Houston Astros come into this Astros vs Rays matchup playing some great baseball, having won four games in a row entering Monday’s action. They are coming off of a three-game sweep on the road against the Atlanta Braves, and won two out of three against the Toronto Blue Jays before that. But this series against the red-hot Rays will be Houston’s biggest test of the season.
Jose Urquidy will get the start for the Astros in this series opening contest. He has a 1-1 record and a 3.66 ERA, with the biggest question for him coming into Monday being his ability to keep the ball in the yard. He has allowed a home run every five innings pitched on average so far this year, and could do worse than that against the destructive Rays lineup.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays continue to play at a historically high level early this season, as they enter this week on a five-game winning streak. They swept the Chicago White Sox at home over the weekend to improve to 19-3 overall and 13-0 at home. On Monday, they can set a new MLB record for consecutive home wins to start a season with a win over the Houston Astros.
Tampa sends Taj Bradley to the mound to start this game, who enters with a 2-0 record and a 2.61 ERA. The Rays have been the best team in baseball both offensively and from a pitching perspective so far this season. If they can continue pitching at this high a level against the potent lineup of the Astros, the Rays can make a real statement that the American League is theirs to lose over the course of this week.