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MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

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Tampa Bay Rays Visit Houston Astros — Series Preview

The Astros play host to the Rays three times starting Friday night.

The Houston Astros host the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series starting Friday night.

Houston and Tampa Bay have already played a series this year, with Houston taking two-of-three from April 24 through 26. Houston won the final game of the set by a final score of 1-0. Hunter Brown (3-0, 2.37) earned the win, pitching seven two-hit innings and striking out eight. Héctor Neris and Ryan Pressly pitched a perfect inning each, with Pressly earning his second save of the season. The Astros won despite totaling only five hits, not including Alex Bregman’s RBI in which he reached base on a first-inning error.

Houston is in the middle of a nine-game homestand. They started out by taking two-of-three from the Texas Rangers, capped by a 13-5 loss on Wednesday night. More impressively, the runs-allocation committee showed us they really know what they’re doing, as Texas outscored Houston by a 25-to-19 margin, but still lost the series. I’ve included game highlights, but since I’m not a masochist, they’re from Houston’s most recent win, their 4-3 triumph from Tuesday (Viva la France!!!!).

The Astros will conclude their homestand with three against the Cleveland Guardians before lighting for the road and dates at Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards.

The Rays famously started the season very hot, winning their first 13 and 19-of-22 (before Houston came to town). Since peaking at 29 games above .500, at 57-28 on June 30, they’ve won only five of their last 20. After this set, they’ll continue their roadtrip with three-game sets against the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers.

In Tampa Bay’s latest matchup, they dropped a 7-1 contest against the Miami Marlins. Zach Eflin (11-6, 3.64) took the loss, surrendering five earned runs over four innings on seven hits and a walk. The Rays only managed five hits, a double from Josh Lowe and four singles from different batters.

All-Time Head-to-Head

Houston is 35-40 against Tampa Bay. Their .467 winning percentage is their third-worst against an AL opponent. The two have also met twice in the postseason, with the Astros winning the 2019 ALDS in five games then losing the 2020 ALCS in seven.


Houston Astros: 58-45, .563, second in the AL West, two games behind the Texas Rangers. Fourth in the AL, in possession of the second wildcard position. Sixth in MLB. On pace for 91-71. Last 10: WLWWWLWWWL. Playoff Odds: 67.7 percent (B/R).

Tampa Bay Rays: 62-43, .590, second in the AL East, 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Second in the AL, in the first wildcard spot. Third in MLB. On pace for 96-66. Last 10: LLLLLWLLWL. Playoff Odds: 97.2 percent (B/R).

Team Leaders

AVG: Yandy Díaz .318, Kyle Tucker .304, Mauricio Dubon .264, Randy Arozarena .263, Wander Franco .262

OBP: Yandy Díaz .401, Kyle Tucker .387, Randy Arozarena .365, Isaac Paredes .358, Alex Bregman .347

SLG: Kyle Tucker .521, Yandy Díaz .508, Isaac Paredes .491, Randy Arozarena .443, Alex Bregman .430

OPS: Yandy Díaz .909, Kyle Tucker .908, Isaac Paredes .849, Randy Arozarena .808, Alex Bregman .777

HR: Jose Siri 20, Isaac Paredes & Kyle Tucker 18, Randy Arozarena, Yordan Alvarez, & Alex Bregman 17

RBI: Kyle Tucker 69, Alex Bregman 66, Randy Arozarena 62, Isaac Paredes 59, Yordan Alvarez 55

BB: Alex Bregman 54, Kyle Tucker 51, Randy Arozarena 49, Yandy Díaz 42, Taylor Walls 36

SB: Wander Franco 28, Josh Lowe 22, Taylor Walls 20, Kyle Tucker 19, Corey Julks 15

Wins: Zach Eflin & Shane McClanahan 11, Framber Valdez 8, Colin Poche & Cristian Javier 7

Games: Bryan Abreu 49, Phil Maton 48, Héctor Neris & Ryan Pressly 46, Jason Adam 44, Injury report

Saves: Ryan Pressly 24, Pete Fairbanks 12, Jason Adam 11, Bryan Abreu 3, Hector Neris 2

IP: Framber Valdez 126, Zach Eflin 116 13, Shane McClanahan 106, Hunter Brown 105 13, Cristian Javier 102

ERA: Shane McClanahan 2.89, Framber Valdez 3.29, Zach Eflin 3.64, Hunter Brown 4.19

WHIP: Zach Eflin 1.02, Framber Valdez 1.14, Shane McClanahan 1.16, Hunter Brown 1.32

SO: Framber Valdez 134, Hunter Brown 122, Zach Eflin 116, Shane McClanahan 112, Taj Bradley 95

Gametime & Starting Pitchers

Friday at 7:10 PM CT — Shane McClanahan (11-1, 2.89) vs. Cristian Javier (7-2. 4.32)
Saturday at 6:15 PM CT — Taj Bradley (5-6, 5.30) vs. Hunter Brown (6-7, 4.19)
Sunday at 1:10 PM CT — Tyler Glasgow (4-3, 3.36) vs. Brandon Bielak (5-5, 3.62)

Who’s Hot (highest WPA vs. Rangers)
Chas McCormick 55.9
Alex Bregman 38.4
Kyle Tucker 33.0
JP France 28.9
Yainer Diaz 23.3

Who’s Not (lowest WPA vs. Rangers)
Mauricio Dubon -11.7
Seth Martinez -12.3
Phil Maton -35.8
Brandon Bielak -43.0
Framber Valdez -49.4


Houston has three shots at the Rays. How many wins will they come away with?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Houston sweep
    (17 votes)
  • 72%
    Houston wins twice
    (134 votes)
  • 16%
    Houston wins once
    (30 votes)
  • 2%
    Tampa Bay sweeps
    (4 votes)
185 votes total Vote Now
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