The Tampa Bay Rays are -112 favorites to go up 3-0 in the ALCS as they send Ryan Yarbrough to the mound for Game 3 against the Houston Astros. Photo by @RaysBaseball (Twitter).
- The Tampa Rays are up 2-0 in the ALCS and are -112 favorites to win Game 3 of the best-of-seven set on Tuesday
- Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough will take the mound for Tampa Bay in Game 3
- Righty Jose Urquidy counters for the Astros, who are listed as slight -102 underdog odds
A year ago, as the Houston Astros squared off with the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, the top of their starting rotation featured MLB strikeout leader Gerrit Cole and Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke.
This year, only Greinke remains and he’s not operating at 100% health. No wonder the Astros find themselves in a world of trouble facing the pitching-rich Rays in the ALCS.
Tampa Bay leads the best-of-seven series 2-0 and will send lefty Ryan Yarbrough to the mound for Game 3 on Tuesday (Oct. 13th, 8:35 pm ET). The Rays are the -112 favorites to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Right-hander Jose Urquidy gets the start for the Astros.
Rays vs Astros Game 3 Odds
|Tampa Bay Rays (R. Yarbrough)||-112||-1.5 (+148)||O 8.5 (-102)|
|Houston Astros (J. Urquidy)||-102||+1.5 (-176)||U 8.5 (-120)|
Odds as of Oct. 12 at FanDuel.
All games in the series are being played back to back at the neutral site of Petco Park in San Diego. The Rays own home-field advantage and will be afforded the last at-bat in Games 1, 2, 6, and 7.
It’s Yarbrough, for Openers
This will mark Yarbrough’s first start of the postseason. Tampa Bay sometimes deploys southpaw Yarbrough after an opener.
That’s how he was utilized in Game 4 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees. Yarbrough entered the game with two out in the second inning. He worked five innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs. He didn’t figure in the decision as the Yankees won 5-1.
THREAD: The uniqueness of the Rays bullpen is no longer a secret. I dug into some of the funky, non-fireballer arms to see why/how they are successful.
Ryan Yarbrough. He’s primarily CT (83), CH (79), SNK (87)
At 6’5”, his release height is ~5.1 ft (at 6’4” Chapman’s is 6.1ft) pic.twitter.com/Ei0HlPCzj4
— Connor Нinchliffe (@conhinch) October 12, 2020
During the regular season he was 1-4 with a 3.56 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 55 innings and a WHIP of 1.19. The 6-foot-5 Yarbrough made 11 appearances and nine of them were starts.
His most recent start was Sept. 20 at Baltimore. Yarbrough took the loss in a 2-1 setback, working seven innings.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Urquidy Must Step Up
The Astros require a big game from Urquidy. Fortunately for them, he’s delivered in similar scenarios before.
Last year, Urquidy started Game 5 of the World Series against the Washington Nationals. Urquidy pitched five innings of two-hit shutout baseball. He got the win in Houston’s 8-1 verdict.
Carlos Correa (@TeamCJCorrea): “We we’re down 0-2 in the World Series last year with Urquidy and Greinke coming up next to pitch for us. It’s not like we haven’t been here before. We got to attack it like we did last year.” Urquidy goes in game 3, Greinke in game four of the ALCS pic.twitter.com/50orUMCzMR
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) October 13, 2020
He also delivered the goods for Houston in Game 2 of this year’s Wild Card round at Minnesota. Urquidy got the start in Houston’s Game 2 series-clinching victory.
Urquidy took the loss in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics, uncharacteristically surrendering four solo homers. He allowed just four home runs in 29.2 innings during the regular season.
The Astros best have the bullpen ready to go. Urquidy’s worked exactly 4.1 innings in both of his postseason starts.
Crunching the Numbers
The Astros suddenly like facing lefties. During the postseason, they’re slashing .283/.368/,489 against southpaws.
Houston has his six home runs in 92 at-bats off left-handers. That’s one every 15.3 at-bats. The Astros hit just .232 off of lefties during the regular season.
Tampa Bay shows a dismal .188 batting average facing right-handed pitching in the playoffs. The Rays own an equally sad .250 on-base percentage against righties.
Astros are down 0-2 despite:
— Outhitting the Rays, 19-10
— Striking out 26 Rays batters (of possible 48 outs) in two games
— Starting pitchers allowing 3 ER in 13 IP
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) October 12, 2020
Houston has dropped three of the last four games after opening the postseason 4-0. The Rays, on the other hand, own five wins in the last six.
Teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven MLB postseason series win 85% of the time (72 of 85). Teams with a 2-0 series lead have captured 22 successive series since the Boston Red Sox came back from 0-2 (and 0-3) to beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.
Pick: Houston Astros (-102).
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.