Welcome to the American League Championship Series. We have the No. 1 seed, Tampa Bay Rays vs. the No. 6 seed Houston Astros in what should be a tight series throughout. Let’s dive right into these best of 7 series and see how we can make you some money in Game 1 and throughout the ALCS.

#1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. #6 Houston Astros (7:37pm ET – TBS)

What a match-up this one should be. Let’s be honest, we really wanted to see the New York Yankees in this spot; however the Tampa Bay Rays are a complete baseball team and deserve to be here. The very first thing that jumps off the page for me is pitching. Both teams have a bevy of young arms that will be on full display with a ticket to the World Series on the line.

In my opinion, the biggest difference among the Astors and the Rays are the bats. The Astros are loaded on offense and seem to have hit their stride. George Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley and Yuriel Gurriel are all swinging hot sticks right now and they are locked in offensively. The Rays took down the Yankees in a winner take all Game 5 in epic fashion with the late homer from Mike Brosseau off of Aroldis Chapman. This wasn’t the first time Chapman has given up a game winning HR in the playoffs.

Taking a deep dive into Game 1 and you have these pitching stats:

2020 Road Statistics:

Framber Valdez (Astros)
.260 BAA
.297 OBP
.693 OPS
.319 BAbip

Blake Snall (Rays)
.231 BAA
.286 OBP
.776 OPS
.245 BAbip

As you can tell, both lefties have been exceptionally stingy to opposing offenses this season and I expect that to keep up. Looking at these numbers and knowing how good both pens are, the old saying “Pitching always defeats hitting” is in play in Game 1. Plus, feels like destiny that the Astros make it to the World Series in a season without fans.

Game 1 Pick: Under 8 runs (-105) | 1 unit bet

Series Winner: Houston Astros (+145) | 2 unit bet