Rays vs. Astros, 7:20 ET
Once again, another playoff potential matchup. Maybe it won’t be based on the way that the bracket breaks, but at this point, I’m considering any teams that made the playoffs as a potential matchup if they are in the same league. I think this will end up being the Astros vs. Dodgers in the World Series, but we shall see.
The Rays get to have their ace do one final tuneup for the season (I expect this to be his last start at least). Shane McClanahan is taking the ball for the Rays in what has been an awesome season. McClanahan has a 2.51 ERA on the road and he somehow has an even better ERA on the road with a 1.94 posting. September hasn’t been great for him as he’s only gone 14 innings and nine earned runs. Those runs all came in the last two starts and the Rays lost both of them. Both of those starts were home outings though. This also included a start against the Astros. In that outing, he went four innings and allowed five earned runs. Walks were an issue as well as he sent four of them on free passes.
Cristian Javier is pitching for the Astros. He has also done really well this year but hasn’t pitched enough innings to qualify for any type of official ranking in the ERA battle. Still, without that, he has 187 strikeouts in 142.2 innings. His ERA is a stellar 2.65 as well. He is striking out more than one hitter per inning. He can be unhittable at times. This month as a whole has been “one of those times.” In 22.1 September innings, he has allowed eight hits. He also has only allowed one hit in each of the last two starts. In that same span, he has only given up one earned run as well. This includes a five-inning outing against the Rays where he allowed nothing just the one hit. Somehow he got away with four walks in the game.
This game should be an under. McClanahan has not looked quite as sharp, but I can’t see him allowing six runs or something, maybe two or three. But, I’d still probably lean towards the Rays in this one over the Astros. My favorite play in this one though is taking under 6.5 at +100.
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