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Rays vs. Astros Game 5 Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions (Thursday, Oct. 15)

Rays vs. Astros Game 5 Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions (Thursday, Oct. 15) article feature image

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Altuve

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Rays Odds -145 [BET NOW]
Astros Odds +125 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 9.5 [BET NOW]
First Pitch 5:07 p.m. ET

Odds as of Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where you win $125 if the team you bet in this game gets at least one hit.

The Houston Astros staved off elimination on Wednesday night and brought the America League Championship Series to 3-1 with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros offense was paced by strong games from George Springer and Jose Altuve, each of whom had multi-hit games that included a home run. The two-run homer from Springer in the fifth proved to be the decisive blast that kept the game out of reach for Tampa.

The Rays, meanwhile, were once again led by rookie sensation Randy Arozarena, who hit yet another home run. He now has five overall in the postseason.

Arozarena was the only player with multiple hits for the Rays, who managed seven overall on the game. Willy Adames’ RBI double off the wall in the ninth brought the game to 4-3, but the Rays ultimately fell just short when Yoshi Tsutugo flew out to Springer to end the game.

The Rays will turn to opener John Curtiss in Game 5, while the Astros will look to rookie Luis Garcia to keep the series — and their season — alive.

Tampa Bay Rays

John Curtiss will serve as the opener for the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. Curtiss was very effective for the Rays during the regular season, pitching to a 3.35 FIP, allowing 1.08 HR/9 and collecting strikeouts at a 9.0 K/9 clip.

After struggling in his postseason debut against the New York Yankees where he allowed five earned runs in just 0.2 innings, he’s since settled down and pitched 3.2 scoreless innings in relief. This will be his first time opening for the Rays this postseason, who will likely turn the game to the bullpen after the first inning.

Their bullpen should be fairly rested after Tyler Glasnow provided six innings in yesterday’s game, so expect to see a combination of Pete Fairbanks, Ryan Thompson, Aaron Loup and Diego Castillo as they look to close out the series.

Overall, the Rays possess one of the strongest bullpens in baseball. During the regular season, they combined for a 3.65 FIP (fourth-best) and 3.6 WAR (best overall).

Houston Astros

Luis Garcia will get the start for the Houston Astros in Game 5. The 23-year-old Garcia made just five regular season appearances for the Astros, including one start against the Oakland Athletics on September 9. In that game, he pitched five scoreless innings and struck out four batters while allowing just one hit. Since then, he’s made just three relief appearances that have not lasted longer than 1.1 innings each.

His regular season numbers were just average; over 12.1 innings pitched, he collected a 4.25 FIP and struck out batters at a 6.6 K/9 rate. He did limit opposing batters to a .182 BABIP during that time, though.

Given his limited workload over the past month, it’s unlikely he pitches more than few innings before handing the ball over to the Astros bullpen. The bullpen was nothing to write home about during the regular season, collectively pitching to a 4.45 FIP (14th-best in all of baseball). Its 5.03 BB/9 was one of the worst marks in all of baseball.

Betting Analysis

In a game that will likely come down to who has the most effective bullpen, the Tampa Bay Rays have the clear advantage. Their 3.65 bullpen FIP was one of the best in baseball during the regular season and they’ll have some of their strongest arms in Pete Fairbanks, Aaron Loup and Diego Castillo available.

On the other side, the Astros will be pitching a 23-year-old rookie who had never thrown above Class-A prior to this season. When he exits, they’ll turn the game over to a mediocre bullpen with a propensity to put runners on base via the walk.

I like the Rays to take Game 5 and advance to the World Series on the backs of one of their strongest asset — the bullpen. I’m comfortable wagering 0.5 units on the Rays up to -150.

The PICK: Rays Moneyline (-145)

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