The best-of-five ALDS is now a best-of-one affair. With wins in Games 3 and 4, the Tampa Bay Rays erased an 0-2 series deficit against the Houston Astros. The two teams will play a winner-take-all Game 5 at Minute Maid Park on Thursday night. The winner moves on to face the Yankees in the ALCS. The loser goes home.
Now, let’s set the scene with some essentials.
How to watch
Date: Thursday, Oct. 10 | Time: 7:07 p.m. ET
Location: Minute Maid Park (Houston, TX)
TV: FS1 | Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: HOU -260 | TB +220 | O/U: 7
Starting pitchers: RHP Gerrit Cole (HOU) vs. RHP Tyler Glasnow (TB)
Follow: CBS Sports App
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The decision to start Justin Verlander in Game 5 backfired. Fortunately for the Astros, they still have a guy like Cole able to start Game 5, and he will start on regular rest. . In addition to getting a strong start from Cole, the Astros also need their offense to find its groove. They scored four runs total in Games 3-4, and George Springer and Michael Brantley in particular have had little impact in the ALDS.
As for the Rays, they are starting Glasnow on extra rest following his good but not quite enough Game 1 start. Charlie Morton is expected to be available out of the bullpen and we could see Blake Snell make another relief appearance as well, depending on the game situation. Snell threw eight pitches and got the final two outs in Game 4 on Tuesday. The Rays scored 14 runs at home in Games 3-4 after scoring three runs on the road in Games 1-2.
Look away, Pirates fans. This pitching matchup can’t feel good. The bet here is Cole will dominate again, something he’s done all season, and Tampa’s pitchers won’t be able to match. I expect an exciting, low-scoring Game 5 that results in a 2017 ALCS rematch.
Pick: Astros 3, Rays 2