baseball | mlb

Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick & Prediction OCT 17TH 2020

FinishedTV: TBSPetco Park San Diego

OP
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8o -105
1.5 -200
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375
310
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The Houston Astros are battling history and hatred, and over the past three games, they prevailed.

 

The Astros are just the second team in baseball history to force a Game 7 after dropping the initial three games of a best-of-seven postseason series, beating the Tampa Bay Rays each of the past three days to push the American League Championship Series to the limit.

 

Game 7 is scheduled for Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego.

 

The Boston Red Sox rallied from a three-game deficit to defeat the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS en route to their first World Series championship since 1918.

 

Following a tumultuous offseason and ragged regular season in which they underperformed, the Astros have battled back and are on the verge of their third World Series appearance in four seasons. Their 2017 World Series championship lost much of its luster after a Major League Baseball investigation found Houston illegally stole opponents' signs that year.

 

Astros manager Dusty Baker acknowledged the public backlash against his club Friday, saying after Houston beat Tampa Bay 7-4 to level the ALCS, "This team's battled back big-time. You've got to love this team, or some people hate this team, but I mean, you've at least got to respect this team, I think, the way that they've worked.

 

"I know people have given me a lot of credit, but I don't deserve any of it. They deserve it by their hard work and their perseverance."

 

Right-hander Lance McCullers (0-1, 4.09 ERA in the 2020 postseason) will start Saturday for the Astros. He pitched exceptionally in Game 2 but was undone by a Jose Altuve throwing error that led to the Rays' three-run first inning. McCullers allowed four runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts over seven innings in a 4-2 loss.

 

For his career in the postseason, McCullers is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 13 games (six starts).

 

The Rays will counter with right-hander Charlie Morton (2-0, 0.90 ERA in the 2020 postseason), the winning pitcher in Game 2. Morton fired five scoreless innings against the Astros, for whom he was the winning pitcher out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, a contest started by McCullers.

 

Morton is 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA in 11 career postseason appearances (10 starts).

 

"As much as anybody on our roster, he's the been-there, done-that guy," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We've relied on Charlie quite a bit in his two years with us; not sure there will be a game bigger than this to rely on him. But just confident that his poise, his experience will allow us to get off to a good start and see if we can get some runs on the board for him early."

 

For the Rays, their biggest challenge in Game 7 might be managing the surprise of being in a winner-take-all affair following their near-flawless play over the first three games of the ALCS.

 

"We've got to bounce back," Cash said. "This isn't the scenario that we wanted up 3-0, but this is a resilient group.

 

"We've going to show up (Saturday) and do everything we can, like we always do, to find a way to win and pick each other up. There's no doubt the momentum has shifted, but I would bet on this team being very available and capable of bouncing back."

 

--Field Level Media

 

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Houston Astros

Tampa Bay Rays

Player Position Lineup
Blake Taylor Pitcher Pitching Order: 4
Lance McCullers Jr. Pitcher Pitching Order: 1
Brooks Raley Pitcher Pitching Order: 2
Jose Urquidy Pitcher Pitching Order: 3
Enoli Paredes Pitcher Pitching Order: 5
Martin Maldonado primary: Catcher Batting Order: 9
Batting Order slot: 9
Josh Reddick primary: Right Outfield Batting Order: 8
Batting Order slot: 8
Yuli Gurriel primary: First Base Batting Order: 7
Batting Order slot: 7
Kyle Tucker primary: Left Outfield Batting Order: 6
Batting Order slot: 6
Alex Bregman primary: Third Base Batting Order: 5
Batting Order slot: 5
Carlos Correa primary: Shortstop Batting Order: 4
Batting Order slot: 4
Michael Brantley primary: Designated Hitter Batting Order: 3
Batting Order slot: 3
George Springer primary: Center Outfield Batting Order: 1
Batting Order slot: 1
Jose Altuve primary: Second Base Batting Order: 2
Batting Order slot: 2
Aledmys Diaz primary: Pinch Hitter
secondary: Third Base
Batting Order: 9
Batting Order slot: 9
Garrett Stubbs primary: Catcher Batting Order: 5
Batting Order slot: 5
Player Position Lineup
Nick Anderson Pitcher Pitching Order: 2
Charlie Morton Pitcher Pitching Order: 1
Peter Fairbanks Pitcher Pitching Order: 3
Manuel Margot primary: Right Outfield Batting Order: 1
Batting Order slot: 1
Kevin Kiermaier primary: Center Outfield Batting Order: 9
Batting Order slot: 9
Michael Brosseau primary: Pinch Runner
secondary: First Base
Batting Order: 5
Batting Order slot: 5
Mike Zunino primary: Catcher Batting Order: 8
Batting Order slot: 8
Joey Wendle primary: Third Base Batting Order: 7
Batting Order slot: 7
Willy Adames primary: Shortstop Batting Order: 6
Batting Order slot: 6
Ji-Man Choi primary: First Base Batting Order: 5
Batting Order slot: 5
Austin Meadows primary: Designated Hitter Batting Order: 4
Batting Order slot: 4
Randy Arozarena primary: Left Outfield Batting Order: 3
Batting Order slot: 3
Brandon Lowe primary: Second Base Batting Order: 2
Batting Order slot: 2

Houston Astros

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Match Start
    • double-play
    • fielder: Willy Adames
    • fielder: Brandon Lowe
    • fielder: Ji-Man Choi
    • double-play
    • fielder: Aledmys Diaz
    • fielder: Yuli Gurriel
    • extra-base-hit
    • HR
    • Inning: 1
    • On Base:1
    • Outs:1
    • batter: Randy Arozarena
    • pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr.
    • extra-base-hit
    • HR
    • Inning: 2
    • On Base:0
    • Outs:1
    • batter: Mike Zunino
    • pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr.
    • hit-by-pitch
    • batter: Manuel Margot
    • pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr.
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • @Tampa Bay L 2 - 4
  • @Tampa Bay W 7 - 4
  • Tampa Bay W 3 - 4
  • Tampa Bay W 3 - 4
  • Tampa Bay L 5 - 2
  • @Tampa Bay L 2 - 4
  • @Tampa Bay L 1 - 2
  • Oakland W 6 - 11
  • Oakland L 9 - 7
  • @Oakland W 5 - 2
W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • @LA Dodgers L 1 - 3
  • LA Dodgers L 4 - 2
  • LA Dodgers W 7 - 8
  • LA Dodgers L 6 - 2
  • @LA Dodgers W 6 - 4
  • @LA Dodgers L 3 - 8
  • Houston W 2 - 4
  • Houston L 7 - 4
  • @Houston L 3 - 4
  • @Houston L 3 - 4

Next Games

  • @Washington(10-27-19) W 7 - 1
  • Miami(03-14-19) L 12 - 6
  • @Detroit(05-15-19) W 5 - 1
  • @NY Yankees(10-18-19) L 1 - 4
  • NY Mets(03-22-19) W 3 - 7
  • Minnesota(06-02-19) L 9 - 7
  • Toronto(09-30-20) W 2 - 8
  • @Baltimore(09-20-20) L 1 - 2
  • @Pittsburgh(03-15-19) D 6 - 6
  • Baltimore(09-17-20) W 6 - 10

Last Meetings

  • Astros @ Rays 2-4
  • Astros @ Rays 7-4
  • Rays @ Astros 3-4
  • Rays @ Astros 3-4
  • Rays @ Astros 5-2
  • Astros @ Rays 2-4
  • Astros @ Rays 1-2
  • Rays @ Astros 1-6
  • Astros @ Rays 1-4
  • Astros @ Rays 3-10

Last Injuries

Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Randy Arozarena crushed a two-run home run and the Tampa Bay Rays held on for a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series in San Diego on Saturday night, sending the AL East champs to the World Series.

The win came after the Rays had seen the Astros erase a 3-0 deficit in the best-of-seven series with three straight wins, and earns Tampa Bay a shot at either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves in the World Series beginning on Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas.

The top-seeded Rays will be making just the second trip to the World Series in franchise history. They were beaten 4-1 by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.

The loss denied the sixth-seeded Astros a third appearance in the World Series in the last four seasons. Houston won the 2017 championship over the Dodgers.

Tampa Bay wasted no time taking the lead in the decisive seventh game, with Manuel Margot reaching base on a hit batsman in the first before Arozarena launched his two-run shot off Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. (0-2).

The homer was Arozarena's fourth of the series and seventh of the postseason, equaling the number the rookie hit in 23 regular-season games. Arozarena was named ALCS MVP.

Mike Zunino delivered Tampa Bay's other two runs, increasing the lead to 3-0 with a solo home run in the second and making it a four-run game with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. The homer was Zunino's second of the series and fourth of the postseason. He had only four homers in the regular season.

Right-hander Charlie Morton (2-0) continued his career Game 7 mastery with 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just two singles and a walk. He struck out six.

Morton improved to 3-0 in Game 7 appearances, having beaten the New York Yankees as a starter in the 2017 ALCS and the Dodgers in relief in the 2017 World Series. In 14 2/3 career Game 7 innings, he's given up just one run and six hits.

Nick Anderson bailed Morton out of a two-out, two-on jam in a 3-0 game in the sixth but left in favor of Pete Fairbanks in the same predicament, albeit it with a four-run cushion, two innings later.

Fairbanks walked Michael Brantley to load the bases and then served up a two-run single to Carlos Correa, allowing the Astros to get within 4-2 with the potential tying runs aboard.

But the right-hander preserved the lead by striking out Alex Bregman before pitching around a one-out single by Yuli Gurriel in the ninth for his third save of the postseason

McCullers couldn't finish the fourth, charged with three runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

Ji-Man Choi had two hits for the Rays, who were out-hit in the series 59-44.

Jose Altuve went 2-for-4 for the Astros, who were attempting to become just the second team ever to win a Championship Series after falling behind 3-0.

--Field Level Media