Rays-Astros Game 5 Picks & Odds: Too Risky To Bet Heavy Favorites In Elimination Games?


Despite being heavily favored walking into the series, the Houston Astros now find themselves in a winner-take-all scenario in Thursday’s Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

With each club earning their victories at home, oddmakers are lining the Astros as heavy -225 favorites in Minute Maid Park, where the team will rely on the arm of Gerrit Cole to book their tickets to the ALCS.

Everything looked up for the Astros as they went up 2-0 in the series, but credit the Rays for finding their fire power at the right moment to rally back and force a Game 5.

Much of Tampa Bay’s two game resurgence can be credited to the six homeruns the team recorded in Games 3 & 4 at Tropicana Field after failing to go the yard in Houston.

Houston’s offense flexed its muscles in the series opener, but aside from that six run performance, the team’s fire power has looked anemic.

The Game 5 over/under runs total is set at 7 runs, and early action reports from MyBookie.ag shows the over receiving 64% of wagers as of Thursday afternoon. Of the four games played, two have topped the seven run mark.

Given the Rays’ reliance on homeruns to even up the series, their inability to go the distance on the road could see the club put up another low scoring performance as the series returns to Houston where Tampa Bay only managed three total runs over two games.

Knowing that there is little value in backing the Astros outright, MLB capper John Ryan suggest sprinkling a bit on the dog in this situation given the +205 price tag, where a $100 bet would net bettors a $205 profit on their investment.

“I do like the Rays in this situation, and would recommend a wager split evenly between money line at +205 and run line at +125. Glasnow is a rising star and he has the mound presence to contain the Astros bats.”

With many analyst writing the Rays off before the series got underway, this team is relishing the opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong.

“Expect the team to make the adjustments in their hitting approaches,” adds Ryan, “just as they against Verlander.”

“Rays designated hitter Tommy Pham is batting 0.412 in the playoffs and has hit 0.476 (10-for-21) in 21 plate appearances facing Cole, with Travis d’Arnaud hitting 0.714 (5-for-7) in eight plate appearances, and Joey Wendle batting 0.429 (3-for-7) in his nine plate appearances.”

Despite owning the smallest payroll in the majors ($57MM) Tampa Bay is the value bet in this situation, as wagers on heavy favorites has proven to be risky in elimination situations. Yes, we are talking to you Dodgers backers.

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