The Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays were both able to defend the home field to set up a Game 5 matchup that features two elite pitchers whom the Pittsburgh Pirates probably wish they did not trade — Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow.
Glasnow was limited to 12 regular-season starts because of injury, but posted a 6-1 record with a 1.76 ERA and gave up 0.6 home runs per nine innings. He has not been going deep into starts since his injury in May, though, pitching no more than 4¹/₃ innings in any outing.
Including regular-season and postseason games, the Astros are 14-0 in Cole’s last 14 starts. Cole was the second-fastest player by innings to 300 strikeouts in a season, hitting that mark in 198¹/₃ innings.
Cole has allowed more than two earned runs just twice since the beginning of June, but during the regular season, he did allow eight runs, five of which were earned, between two starts against the Rays.
The Rays had the best bullpen ERA in the majors during the regular season and in this pivotal game, it will be all hands on deck.
Cole has been a winner for the Astros all year, and that is reflected with the Houston opening up north of a -250 favorite.
They are such a heavy favorite that despite all this pitching, the Rays are at worst even money to cover the run line, meaning if the Rays either lose by one run or win outright, the bet cashes.
To be able to not lay juice and still be able to win a bet with the Rays if the game is a one-run barn burner on either side is very appealing and certainly worth a look, rather than hoping for a big upset or laying a massive number.
The play: Rays, +1¹/₂ runs on the run line.