Past Expert Picks
Framber Valdez was 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA this season and he has allowed just two earned runs in 12 IP this postseason. He has never faced the Rays in his career. Blake Snell was 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA this season but he was touched up for four earned runs in five innings against the Yankees. However, he did pitch 5.2 innings scoreless in his start against the Blue Jays. He has a career 2.81 ERA in the postseason but he has never gone deeper than 5.2 innings. During the regular season, the Astros were ranked 22nd in the league in OPS against lefties at .702, but they have an .846 OPS in the postseason against lefties. If the Astros are up, I wouldn’t be surprised if they put one of their bulk starters to close the game. This should be a 50-50 game.
The Rays have been the best team in the AL all season and just beat the favored Yankees in one of the best games in team history. They now have a chance to exact some revenge on the Astros, who are in ALCS for the fourth straight year. These teams do not like each another, and we're sure to see some fireworks in the series. Blake Snell, who is 2-2 lifetime against Houston, will take the mound for Tampa Bay against Framber Valdez, who is 2-0 this postseason. There is a lot of value with the Astros, who are 8-0 in their last eight games as playoff underdogs.