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Cole, Astros Are -270 Favorites vs Glasnow, Rays in Deciding Game 5 of ALDS – Picks & Odds

Jose Altuve high-fiving Yuli Gurriel
Jose Altuve (L) and Yuli Gurriel (R) didn't do much high-fiving in Games 3 and 4 of the 2019 ALDS. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].
  • Gerrit Cole and the Astros are -270 favorites versus Tyler Glasnow and the Rays in Game 5 of their ALDS
  • The home team has won every game of this series
  • See the latest moneyline, runline, and game total for the winner-take-all tilt

Not so long ago, Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow were major-league hopefuls pitching for the AAA Indianapolis Indians.

Thursday at Minute Maid Park, they’ll both offer lifelines of hope for the respective teams.

American League Cy Young Award contender Cole, 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and a big-league best 326 strikeouts this season, will take the mound for the Houston Astros in Game 5 of their ALDS against Glasnow and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Glasnow was 6-1 this season with a 1.78 ERA. He fanned 76 batters in just 60 innings of work.

Bovada is leaning toward Cole in this decisive tilt. The sportsbook has listed the Astros as -270 favorites in the Tampa vs Houston Game 5 odds.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Houston Astros Game 5 ALDS Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Over/Under at Bovada
Tampa Bay Rays +225 +1.5 (+105) Over 7.0 (-120)
Houston Astros -270 -1.5 (-125) Under 7.0 (EVEN)

*Odds taken 10/09/19

Tampa Bay is already 2-0 when facing elimination in the 2019 MLB playoffs.

Rays Dominate JV

Astros manager AJ Hinch made the mistake of rolling with fellow 20-game winner and AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander on three days’ rest for Game 4. It was the first time Verlander had ever taken the hill on short rest, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

He was touched-up for three first-inning runs as Houston lost 4-1. Verlander surrendered four runs, seven hits, including two home runs, and three walks on 84 pitches over 3.2 innings of work.

According to Stats Inc., pitchers starting on three days’ rest or less in the postseason are a combined 30-44 with a 4.58 ERA since 1995.

Cole Train

Perhaps Hinch took that roll of the dice with Verlander knowing full well he had another ace up his sleeve.

Cole was ready in reserve to fire up a Game 5 victory if necessary.

In Game 2 of this set, Cole set an Astros franchise record, striking out 15 in a 3-1 victory. Cole became just the seventh pitcher in MLB history to fan at least 15 hitters in a postseason game.

Only Bob Gibson of the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals (17 against the Detroit Tigers) and Kevin Brown of the 1998 San Diego Padres (16 against the Astros) have struck out more batters in a playoff game.

Cole hasn’t lost a decision since May 22. He’s 16-0 since then and the Astros are 20-2 in games started by Cole over that span.

Glasnow Is No Slouch

Prior to this season, Glasnow was 6-16 in his MLB career. Things clicked for the 26-year-old right-hander this year, though. Glasnow was 6-1 with an AL-best 1.78 ERA when he suffered a forearm injury in a May 10 start against the New York Yankees.

Glasnow didn’t pitch in the majors again until Sept. 8. In four appearances last month, he never worked more than 4.1 innings and pitched just 12.1 in total.

He took the loss in Game 1 of this series. Glasnow was tagged for four hits, including a home run, and walked three in 4.1 innings of work.

Houston Shouldn’t Have A Problem

How do you bet against a team starting a pitcher who hasn’t lost since before Memorial Day?

The short answer is you don’t.

Cole led the AL in ERA this season. He also set a big-league record, averaging 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

The home team has won every game in this series. The Astros are 6-1 in their last seven home games, and 5-1 in their last six home games against Tampa Bay. It’s a steep price tag, but Houston is the play.

Pick: Houston Astros (-270)

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