Free MLB Picks Today: Tampa Bay Rays vs Houston Astros 9/19/22

Free MLB Picks Today: Tampa Bay Rays vs Houston Astros 9/19/22
Mon 19th September 2022

The Houston Astros (96-51) take one of the most productive offenses in the AL on the road to face the Tampa Bay Rays (82-64) at Tropicana Field on Monday for the opener of a three-game series. The Astros are playing their first of seven games on the road. They won three out of four in their last series against the Athletics, taking the finale 11-2 on Sunday at Minute Maid Park. Martin Maldonado was 4 for 4 with a home run, four runs, and four RBIs. Jose Altuve went 3 for 4 with one run. The Rays are in the midst of a 10-game homestand. They won two of three against the Rangers in their last series, taking the finale 5-3 on Sunday at Tropicana Field. Christian Bethancourt went 3 for 4 with a home run and a double. He scored two runs. Jose Siri added a solo home run. The teams are meeting for the first time this season. Last season, the Astros won four of the six games between the teams, including two out of three in their most recent meeting at Minute Maid Park in September.


Luis Garcia (12-8, 4.09 ERA) is slated for the start for Houston. The RHP allowed three runs over five innings in his last start, a 12-4 road win over the Angels on September 11. He got the win, giving up eight hits while striking out four. Garcia made one start against the Rays in 2021, a 7-0 home loss on September 29. He surrendered six runs on eight hits over five innings, striking out six and walking two. Right-hander Drew Rasmussen (10-5, 2.77 ERA) will toe the rubber for Tampa Bay. Rasmussen made one start against the Astros in 2021, throwing five innings in a 7-0 road win on September 29. He gave up one hit while striking out two in the win. In his last start on Wednesday, Rasmussen took the loss on the road against the Blue Jays. He threw four innings and gave up four runs on six hits, striking out one and walking one in the 5-1 defeat.


The Houston offense is averaging 4.6 runs per game for the season, third best in the American League, with a slash line of .246/.320/.424. Four Astros hitters have an OPS of .800 or better, led by Yordan Alvarez (1.035). The left fielder is slashing .303/.407/.628 with 37 home runs, 93 RBIs, and 90 runs over 122 games. Over the last five games, though, Houston has averaged 5.6 runs a game while performing better across the board (.281/.337/.539). Against right-handed pitchers like Rasmussen this season, the ‘Stros have a .733 OPS. Alex Bregman is the team’s most potent producer against right-handers with a .910 OPS in 321 at-bats. Tampa Bay is slashing .243/.311/.382 for the season and averaging 4.2 runs per game. Yandy Diaz leads the team with a .822 OPS. The third baseman has nine home runs, 54 RBIs, and 69 runs scored with a slash line of .293/.400/.422. The Rays have a .688 OPS against right-handers in 2022. With a .806 OPS over 336 at-bats, Diaz also has been their best hitter against right-handers.


Houston is on a four-game winning streak away from Minute Maid Park, bringing their record to 46-28 in 2022. The ‘Stros have scored 4.6 runs per game away from home, while allowing 3.3 runs. Tampa Bay has gone 49-25 at their home park this season, averaging 4.2 runs per game while surrendering 3.3. In the last 10 games at Tropicana Field between the teams, Tampa Bay is 7-3 with an average scoreline of 3.6-3.1.


The Astros lead the AL West by 14 games over the Mariners. Their magic number to clinch the division is four. The Rays are third in the AL East, six games behind the Yankees. They currently occupy one of the Wild Card spots, sitting second.

SportsTips’ MLB Pick:

Tampa Bay Rays (-120)

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