Astros vs. Rays Friday Prediction
After winning on Opening Day, will the Astros make it back-to-back victories when they take on their former teammate Charlie Morton and the Rays tonight? First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Game Snapshot & Odds
7:10 p.m. ET, Friday, March 29, 2019
TV: AT&T SportsNet-Southwest (Astros); FS Sun (Rays)
Compare odds and from multiple different online sportsbooks and shop for the best lines at our new Baseball Odds & Betting Page.
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Astros as a -147 favorite to beat the Rays, who are +110 underdogs. As of this writing, 75% of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Astros to win outright. This information is subject to change, however, so be sure to check out our MLB Public Betting Page for updated figures on this game.
Houston Astros Fantasy Spin
Gerrit Cole allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings in Sunday's Grapefruit League contest against the Nationals. Cole yielded five hits and a walk while striking out five in what will be his final appearance of the Grapefruit League schedule. Cole will make $13.5 million this season ahead of possibly hitting the free agent market this fall -- the Astros recently signed teammate Justin Verlander to an extension but have not done the same with Cole to date -- and should once again be near the top of the starting pitcher ranks when all is said and done.
Tampa Bay Rays Fantasy Spin
Charlie Morton had mixed results in his Grapefruit League finale on Saturday against the Tigers, allowing four unearned runs on three hits in his two innings of work. The right-hander struck out three and walked one on the afternoon. All of the damage done against him came in the first inning, an inning that would have been over already had Morton not made a throwing error on a ground ball hit by Miguel Cabrera. He finishes the spring with a 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 10/3 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings.
MLB Betting Trends
Despite their victory on Opening Day, the Astros are still just 6-14 in their last 20 games played at Tropicana Field.
The Rays are 39-15 in their last 54 home games dating back to last season.
Morton reinvented himself in 2017 and continued that success in 2018 but how much of that was due to Houston’s advanced scouting staff? Since the Astros started to invest heavily in analytics from the top of the organization down, we’ve seen pitchers like Morton, Cole and Justin Verlander go from average/talented but inconsistent/on the downslope of his career to super aces. Now that Morton is out of Houston, I’m going to fade him in certain matchups because I believe he’ll be overvalued. This is a good night to start, as the Astros have the power and low-strikeout profile to jump on their former teammate. While it’s not ideal to lay nearly -150 on the money line, I’ll make an exception.
The Pick: Houston Astros -147