2020 MLB Playoffs: Astros vs. Rays odds, picks, ALCS Game 1 predictions from proven model

The Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays will face off in Game 1 of the 2020 American League Championship Series on Sunday evening. Houston advanced with an ALDS win over the Oakland Athletics, while Tampa Bay outlasted the New York Yankees. Blake Snell takes the ball for the Rays in Game 1, with Framber Valdez on the hill for the Astros. 

First pitch is at 7:37 p.m. ET in San Diego. Tampa Bay is the -145 favorite on the money line in the latest Astros vs. Rays odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total runs scored is 8.5. Before you make any Rays vs. Astros picks, check out the latest MLB predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model, which simulates every pitch 10,000 times, returned more than $1,400 on its top-rated money-line and run-line picks, and anyone who followed it saw huge rewards. It also got off to a hot start in the first week of the 2020 MLB Playoffs, hitting all three top-rated money-line MLB picks — including the Cardinals (+150) in Game 1 against the Padres — and returning almost $300 on the week. 

Now, the model has dialed in on Astros vs. Rays. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the MLB odds from William Hill and trends for Rays vs. Astros:

  • Astros vs. Rays money line: Rays -145, Astros +135
  • Astros vs. Rays over-under: 8.5 runs
  • Astros vs. Rays spread: Rays -1.5
  • HOU: The Astros are 9-6 in the last 15 games, dating back to the regular season
  • TB: The Rays are 14-4 in the last 18 games, dating back to the regular season

Why you should back the Astros

Though the Astros struggled by their previous standards in the regular season, Houston’s offense is very much alive in the playoffs. The Astros have 13 home runs in six playoff games, including an explosion of 12 home runs against Oakland in the ALDS. In that series, Houston put together a batting line of .332/.388/.594 and the Astros seemed to find a groove at the optimal time.

Talented outfielder George Springer was one of the best players in baseball this season, hitting 14 home runs with a .540 slugging percentage in 51 games, and Carlos Correa has been unbelievable in the playoffs. Correa is hitting .500 with four home runs and 12 RBI in the postseason, with Michael Brantley, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman all sporting a .944 OPS or better during the playoff run. Finally, defense has been a strength in the postseason, with only two errors across the first two series.

Why you should back the Rays

Tampa Bay should have confidence in Snell but, if he struggles, the Rays have one of the best bullpens in baseball. Tampa Bay led MLB in bullpen wins above replacement (WAR) this season, and the Rays were second in bullpen walk rate (2.9 walks per 9 innings) and third in bullpen ERA (3.37). Elsewhere, the Rays are also a strong defensive team, landing in the top five of the league in both defensive runs saved (DRS) and ultimate zone rating (UZR) during the regular season. 

Offensively, Tampa Bay is balanced and talented, with 26-year-old slugger Brandon Lowe at the forefront. Lowe was one of the best hitters in the American League this season, blasting 14 home runs and boasting a .554 slugging percentage. Finally, Tampa Bay could cause havoc on the base paths, with the Rays ranking sixth in MLB with 48 stolen bases in 60 games this season.

How to make Astros vs. Rays picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with Tampa Bay’s relievers projected to allow two runs and Valdez projected to allow more than one baserunner per inning. The model also says one side of the money line has all the value. Head to SportsLine now to see the pick. 

So who wins Rays vs. Astros? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side to jump on, all from the advanced model that returned over $1,400 on MLB picks last year and got off to a hot start in the 2020 MLB Playoffs.

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