- The Tampa Bay Rays are the -136 favorites to beat the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS on Monday, Oct. 12
- Tampa’s Game 2 starter, Charlie Morton, is 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA in the MLB postseason
- Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr hasn’t won a postseason decision since the 2017 World Series
The Tampa Bay Rays have never lost an ALCS, and Game 2 starter Charlie Morton has never lost a postseason decision. That’s the imposing combination that awaits Lance McCullers Jr and the Houston Astros on Monday, Oct. 12th, as they attempt to even the 2020 ALCS at one game apiece.
Tampa Bay has been established as the -136 favorites, with Houston a +118 underdog.
All games in the series are being played back to back at the neutral site of Petco Park in San Diego. The Rays own home-field advantage and will be afforded the last at-bat in Games 1, 2, 6, and 7. First pitch Monday is at 4:07 pm ET.
Astros vs Rays Game 2 Odds
|Houston Astros (L. McCullers Jr)||+118||+1.5 (-164)||O 8.5 (-102)|
|Tampa Bay Rays (C. Morton)||-136||-1.5 (+138)||U 8.5 (-120)|
Odds taken Oct. 11 at FanDuel.
Tampa Bay grabbed a 2-1 verdict in Game 1 of this-best-of-seven set on Sunday. The Rays are now 15-4 over their last 19 games.
The 29-31 Astros, seeking to become the first team with a losing regular-season record to reach the World Series, dropped to 5-2 in the postseason. They haven’t lost consecutive games since dropping the final three contests of regular-season play.
Morton Salts It Away
Former Astro Morton got the best of his old team in Game 3 of the 2019 ALDS. Morton worked five innings, allowing one run and striking out nine as Tampa Bay won 10-3.
The right-hander won a World Series with the Astros in 2017. He got the win in Game 7 of the Fall Classic as Houston downed the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Charlie Morton goes in game 2 for the Rays & reflected on the fact he still has a strong connection w/ #Astros fans: “It is. It’s interesting. It’s special. It’s unique & I’m honored..I have nothing but fond memories of the fans there..I wish everybody there nothing but the best” pic.twitter.com/5Gbvf6qS0m
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) October 11, 2020
Morton has made three postseason starts for the Rays since he joined the team, and he’s won every one of them. He’s 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA for Tampa Bay in the playoffs.
Morton beat the New York Yankees 8-4 in Game 3 of this year’s ALDS. Working five innings, he allowed four hits and one earned run while striking out six.
McCullers Looks to Bounce Back
Right-hander McCullers got the start against Oakland in Game 1 of the ALCS and it didn’t go well. Making his first postseason start since the 2017 World Series, he was touched for five runs – four earned – and three home runs in five innings of work.
McCullers didn’t factor in the decision as Houston won 10.5 He’s 1-0 with one save and a 3.25 ERA in 12 playoff appearances, including five starts.
Lance McCullers says he really likes where his stuff is right now. He’ll face Charlie Morton in game 2 of the ALCS tomorrow afternoon pic.twitter.com/skGAJKz6j2
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) October 11, 2020
His lone victory came in Game 3 of the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers. In three career starts against the Rays, McCullers is 1-2 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.
McCullers was 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA this season but finished the regular-season strongly. The righty recorded a 2.18 ERA over his final eight starts.
Run with the Astros
The Astros are proving to be baseball’s best postseason team when it comes to betting the runline. They covered again in Game 1, losing 2-1 at +1.5 runs.
Houston is now 6-1 against the runline. Tampa Bay dropped to 5-3.
#Astros Dusty Baker on Game 2 starter McCullers, “Lance has been a big game guy.”
— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) October 12, 2020
It’s a complete turnaround in fortunes for Houston. During the regular season, the Astros were a dismal 25-35 against the runline. Only the Milwaukee Brewers (23-37) were worse among MLB clubs.
The Astros came into Game 1 of this series averaging 6.7 runs per game. Houston scored 33 runs in four games against the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS. That works out to 8.25 runs per game.
All they could muster in Game 1 against the Rays was a first-inning solo homer by Jose Altuve. It was his third straight game with a homer.
Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena clubbed his fourth homer in six games.
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (-127)