MLB PREVIEWS |

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros Preview and Predictions 10-10-2019


The Tampa Bay Rays look to complete a remarkable comeback when they visit the Houston Astros, who had a major league-best 107 victories in the regular season, for a decisive Game 5 of their American League Division Series on Thursday. The Rays were outscored 9-3 to lose the first two games of the series in Houston before bouncing back to take the next two at home while holding the high-powered Astros to four total runs after a 4-1 win Tuesday.

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"I don't know if anybody has us getting to Game 4," Tampa Bay catcher Travis d'Arnaud told reporters after the latest victory. "Nobody had us to Game 5. I know we all believe in each other and even showing up to the field, nobody thinks we're going to lose today. ... We're ready to shock the world." That will be a stiff challenge for the Rays in the deciding game when they face Gerrit Cole, who was dominant with 15 strikeouts to win Game 2 on Saturday, while Tampa Bay is expected to send fellow hard-throwing right-hander Tyler Glasnow to the hill to start - followed by their talented bullpen. Houston was 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position, leaving 20 on base, in the last three games and could use a boost from George Springer (2-for-17 in the series), Michael Brantley (2-for-16) and Josh Reddick (0-for-7) in Game 5. "Winner takes all," Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who is 5-for-13 in the series with a homer, told reporters. "It's going to be a fun game at Minute Maid Park, our favorite place to play, and we're looking forward to it. It's going to be a blast."

TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 4.15 ERA) vs. Astros RH Gerrit Cole (1-0, 0.00)

Glasnow blanked Houston over the first four innings of Game 1 before a walk, a strikeout and Jose Altuve's two-run homer ended his day in the fifth. The 26-year-old California native struck out five, gave up four hits and walked three in his first career playoff appearance after a regular season in which he missed almost four months with a forearm strain before returning in September. Glasnow was 4-0 with a 0.55 ERA in six starts on the road during the regular season and beat the Astros on March 30 with five innings of one-run ball at home.



Cole looks to match his performance in Game 2 after limiting the Rays to four hits and one walk over 7 2/3 sparkling innings, evening his postseason record to 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA in six starts. The 29-year-old UCLA product led the majors with a career-best 326 strikeouts and reached 20 victories for the first time during the regular season, going 12-2 with a 2.63 ERA at home. Kevin Kiermaier had a double in Game 2 against Cole, who was 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in two starts versus Tampa Bay in the regular season with 24 strikeouts over 12 2/3 total innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Altuve, who had 18 of his 31 homers at home this year, owns at least a hit in all four games with a pair of home runs.

2. Tampa Bay LF-DH Tommy Pham is 9-for-21 with a pair of homers in the postseason after going deep Tuesday.

3. Including the playoffs, the Astros are 62-21 at home while the Rays boast a 49-35 record on the road this season.

Prediction

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Minute Maid Park
Houston, Texas, USA.
Capacity: 43,836

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Last Injuries

Houston Astros

  • Max Stassi

    Hip
    Prob March 26 | probable

    Stassi is recovering from right hip surgery, but it is projected that he will be available for opening day versus the Astros.

  • Rogelio Armenteros

    Elbow
    Ques March 26 | questionable

    Armenteros is suffering from elbow and shoulder injuries, leaving his availability for opening day versus the Angels up in the air.

  • Riley Ferrell

    Shoulder
    Ques March 26 | questionable

    Ferrell is battling shoulder soreness, and it has yet to be established if he will be ready against the Angels on opening day.

  • Brad Peacock

    Neck
    Ques March 26 | questionable

    Peacock is hindered by nerve damage in his neck, and it is unknown if he will be available for the season opener against the Angels.

  • Francis Martes

    Suspension
    out for season | out

    Marte has been issued a 162-game suspension due to testing positive for the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

houston-astros Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB

tampa-bay-rays Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB