This will be the time that Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr has worked in a Game 7. The Astros are 2-0 in the two previous games. Photo by @baseball_ref (Twitter).
- Despite winning the last three games, the Houston Astros are -104 underdogs in Game 7 of the ALCS
- The Tampa Bay Rays, who’ve squandered a 3-0 series lead, are the -110 favorites
- Houston is seeking to join the Boston Red Sox (2004 ALCS) as the only MLB team to come back from 3-0 down to win a best-of-seven series
The Tampa Bay Rays appear to have thought that three wins was enough to get the job done in the ALCS. The Houston Astros thought otherwise. After Tampa won three in a row to open the series, Houston has responded with three season-saving wins of its own. Now it’s on to Game 7 on Saturday, Oct. 17th (8:37 pm ET), to see who earns a trip to the World Series.
Despite rattling off three straight wins, the Astros will again be -104 underdogs in Game 7.
Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr will be pitching in his third career Game 7. The Astros are 2-0 in his two previous Game 7 appearances.
The Rays, who counter with Game 2-winner Charlie Morton, are the -110 favorites. Tampa Bay has been the chalk in all seven ALCS games.
Astros vs Rays Game 7 Odds
|Houston Astros (McCullers Jr)||-104||-1.5 (+154)||O 8 (-114)|
|Tampa Bay Rays (Morton)||-110||-1.5 (-184)||U 8 (-106)|
Odds as of Oct. 16 at FanDuel.
The Rays own home-field advantage for Game 7 at the neutral site of Petco Park in San Diego.
McCullers In Seventh Heaven
This is the second time starting a Game 7 for McCullers. He’s also finished a Game 7.
McCullers was the starting pitcher for Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He worked 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out three, before giving way to Brad Peacock. Houston won the game 5-1.
Lance McCullers is the first pitcher since Don Newcombe in 1949 to have 11+ Ks, 0 BBs, and 1 ER and take the L in a #Postseason game pic.twitter.com/IAc5TooJME
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 13, 2020
The right-hander earned the save in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS as Houston blanked the New York Yankees 4-0. McCullers pitched the final four innings. He allowed no runs, one hit and struck out six.
This postseason, McCullers is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA. He took the loss against Morton in Game 2 of this series. McCullers has served up five home runs in 11 innings of work.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Morton Rolls Sevens
You can be impressed with the Game 7 record of McCullers. At least until you get a look at the Game 7 record of Morton.
In both of those Game 7 appearances by McCullers, it was ex-Astro Morton who posted the victory. He got the start in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS. Morton worked five shutout innings, allowing two hits and fanning five before handing off to McCullers.
Lance McCullers Jr. & Charlie Morton both pitched in 2017 ALCS+WS Game 7 for HOU
They’ll face off in 2020 ALCS G7
They’re the 1st duo in PS history to pitch in the same winner-take-all game as teammates & later start *vs each other* in a winner-take-all game
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 17, 2020
In the seventh game of the 2017 World Series, Morton pitched the final four innings of the game against the Dodgers. He allowed two hits and one earned run, striking out four and walking one.
Morton is 6-2 in his postseason career with a 3.16 ERA. He’s won his last six decisions. This season, the righty is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA.
Astros Are Better Later
In Game 5, Houston scored three of four runs against the Tampa Bay bullpen. In Game 6, the Astros collected five of seven runs off of Rays relievers. Their key to victory will be to hang in there until they get beyond Morton.
See y’all tomorrow!!#ForTheH pic.twitter.com/dLMPo3LcBm
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 17, 2020
Tampa Bay hasn’t lost four straight since a five-game losing skid July 29-Aug. 2 left the Rays 4-6 on the season.
Houston is 2-2 all-time Game 7 appearances. The Rays are 1-0 in Game 7, beating the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS.
Pick: Houston Astros (-103)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.