The Astros are back.
Houston has won four straight, including winning all three games in Atlanta against a World Series contender in the Braves and now head to Tampa Bay to face the best team in baseball so far this season in the Tampa Bay Rays, who haven't lost at home this year.
The Astros will look to continue to remind people who the defending World Series champs are with a hot start to this potential ALCS preview. Let's get to odds:
Astros vs. Rays odds, run line and total
Astros vs. Rays prediction and pick
The Astros continue to be undervalued and I'll keep riding the heater. The Rays have gotten a ton of production out of rookie Taj Bradley, who has been lights out in his first two starts, but Houston's offense is going to pose a new set of challenges for him.
Houston blends elite discipline at the plate with a great ability to put bat on ball. The Astros have the 19th highest strikeout rate in the big leagues this season and that has been Bradley's bread and butter to date, striking out 17 batters in 10 1/3 innings.
The Astros will need a strong outing from Jose Urquidy, who has struggled with home runs this season, allowing four in four starts, but I'm going to bank on him to put together a quality start against a Rays offense that is starting to cool off after a torrid start to the year.
I simply think the gap between these two teams isn't this great even if Bradley is a stud pitcher. The Astors lineup is far too formidable for a rookie and I'll back the hot Astros to keep it rolling on Monday night.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.