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Pitching Duel Expected for Rays & Astros

Houston Astros Baseball

Two More Stud Pitchers Hit the Bump on Wednesday

They say the homerun has taken over Major League Baseball, but the emphasis on dingers has also led to more strikeouts. Those should be plentiful this Wednesday when the Houston Astros welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Minute Maid Park. Houston right-hander Gerrit Cole has not lost since May 22nd and Tampa Bay lefty Ryan Yarbrough is unbeaten in his last 12 trips to the mound. They will meet in the second game of a three-game series.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston); LINE: Astros -225; O/U: 8 Under -112.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Ryan Yarbrough (11-3, 3.29 ERA) vs. Astros RH Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.75)

Wednesday’s matchup means more to Tampa. They are trying to nail down one of the two Wild Card berths in the American League. Houston is firmly in control of the AL West with 40 games left. They’re resting SS Carlos Correa (.914 OPS) and his sore back until mid-September.

Justin Verlander was ejected after 5-1/3 scoreless innings and the Astros pounded fellow American League Cy Young candidate Charlie Morton in the series opener. The Stros’ got Morton for a season-high six runs on seven hits in a 15-1 victory Tuesday. The win extended their winning streak to five. Rookie slugger Yordan Alvarez jacked a pair of homers. Michael Brantley pushed his hitting streak to 19 games. Brantley had a single in the series opener that makes him 34-for-75, 10 doubles, and 17 RBI’s during his streak.

The Rays have lost three straight and are 5-7 in their last 12 games to drop one game behind Oakland for the AL’s second wild card, and 1-1/2 back of Cleveland for the top spot. Joey Wendle produced the only run for Tampa Bay with a solo homer. It was his first of the season. Tommy Pham had a double and a single to extend his hitting streak to five games. He is 8-for-19 during the streak.

This, That, and a Rays & Astros Dart Throw

Cole is second in the majors with 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He has also thrown six consecutive quality starts for Houston. Cole has given up just six earned runs combined over that span to improve his team record to 19-7 (Over has went 15-11). Cole has pushed himself into the middle of the Cy Young discussion with wins in six straight starts and 11 consecutive decisions. The aforementioned tally came after he tossed seven scoreless innings against Detroit on Thursday. The UCLA product boasts a 1.35 ERA in August and is limiting opponents to a .195 batting average. He has chipped in with 238 strikeouts across 163-2/3 innings overall. Travis d’Arnaud is 4-for-4 with a homer against Cole in his career. Cole gave up four runs (one earned) over six innings in a loss at Tampa Bay on March 29.

Yarbrough has become one of Tampa’s top pitchers, striking out nine per nine innings since the All-Star break. He is leading the Rays to victory in 10 of his last 11 appearances (Under 7-3-1). Yarbrough is unbeaten since June 13. He is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in four games this month while striking out 28 and allowed just one walk. The Old Dominion product gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks over 4 1/3 innings last Thursday. His outing ended due to a rain delay after just 68 pitches. Jake Marisnick is 2-for-2 with a solo homer versus Yarbrough. The Rays‘ hurler took the loss, despite 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, against Houston last year.

The Dart Throw: Astros 4, Rays 2

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Houston Astros Trends
  • Trend Under is 19-7-1 in Astros last 27 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 73.10% (27) O/U 7|19 Push 1 W/L
  • Under is 5-1-1 in Astros last 7 home games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. 83.30% (7) 1|5 1
  • Over is 8-3 in Astros last 11 games a home underdog of +151 to +200. 72.70% (11) 8|3 0
  • Under is 3-1-1 in Astros last 5 games as a favorite of -201 or greater. 75.00% (5) 1|3 1
Tampa Bay Rays Trends
  • Trend Under is 38-16-2 in Rays last 56 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 70.40% (56) O/U 7|19 Push 1 W/L
  • Under is 4-0 in Rays last 4 games with the total set at 6.5 or lower. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
  • Over is 5-0 in Rays last 5 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 100.00% (5) 4|1 0
  • Under is 6-1 in Rays last 7 games as a road underdog of +201 or greater. 85.70% (7) 1|6 0
Rays vs Astros Meetings Trends
  • Trend Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Houston. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 9-1-1 in the last 11 meetings. 90.00% (11) 1|9 1
  • Rays are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings. 75.00% (8) 0 6|2

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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