Rays, Astros American League Best Bets for September 22

There are multiple games tonight on the American League schedule, and there’s value to be found. Below, you can find our AL best bets from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Toronto Blue Jays (-122) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (+104) Total: 7.5 (O -114, U -105)

The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays will kick off a four-game series tonight from Tropicana Field. The Blue Jays enter this matchup after splitting a two-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies, while the Rays were swept in a three-game series with the Houston Astros. These two clubs are separated by just two games in the standings, with the Blue Jays occupying the top Wild Card position in the American League and the Rays sitting right behind them in second. The Blue Jays are playing better baseball heading into tonight, owning a 6-4 record over their last ten games, while the Rays are 4-6 over that same sample size. Scoring runs has been an issue for the Rays, especially against the Astros, where they combined to score just two runs in the entirety of the series. 

This is an important series for both sides, and they’ll be attempting to lock up home-field advantage in the first round of the MLB playoffs. Pitching has been a strength for the Rays, while the Blue Jays have had a mixed bag, mainly due to some underperformers in the middle of their rotation. The visitors are expected to send right-hander Jose Berrios to the bump while the Rays will counter J.T. Chargois. It’s the first year of a seven-year contract extension with the Blue Jays, and there’s been a lot of struggles for Berrios, who owns an 11-5 record, paired with a 4.99 ERA and 136 strikeouts. The Rays righty has posted a 2-0 record with a 2.76 ERA and 12 strikeouts. Chargois has just been used as an opener for the Rays, meaning you can expect a bullpen game for them as they open this big series against the Blue Jays. 

Berrios has been solid in two starts against the Rays, combining to allow three earned runs in those appearances, while the Rays shouldn’t have an issue keeping this a low-scoring game against a Blue Jays offense that cooled off a big performance on Tuesday. In saying that, targeting the total in this matchup makes a lot of sense, which is currently set at 7.5. This will be a tight series, and you can expect the games to be close, meaning targeting the under 7.5 at -105 makes a lot of sense. 

Best Bet: Under 7.5 (-105)

Houston Astros (-200) vs. Baltimore Orioles (+168) Total: 7 (O -110, U -110)

The Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles will face off tonight for Game 1 of a four-game weekend series from Camden Yards. The Astros enter this contest after sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game set, while the O’s dropped two-of-three games against the Detroit Tigers. Houston has clinched the AL West and is closing in on securing the number one seed in the American League, while the Orioles had a missed opportunity against the Tigers and are still three games back in the AL Wild Card race. It won’t get easier for the Orioles to gain ground in the playoff race in this matchup, with the Astros owning a 9-1 record over their last ten games and have now won four straight games overall. In terms of the Orioles, they’ve posted a 4-6 record over that same stretch of games.

The Astros boast an excellent batting lineup and will have one of the game’s best starting pitchers on the mound in this first contest. The visiting Astros are set to send AL Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander to the bump, while the Orioles will be countering with right-hander Kyle Bradish. The Astros veteran starter has posted a 17-3 record, paired with a sparkling 1.78 ERA and 163 strikeouts, while Bradish is 3-7 with a 5.05 ERA and 93 punchouts. What’s very evident here is that the Astros should have a significant advantage on the mound in this contest, and that’s been more apparent if you look towards their odds on the moneyline, which are currently set at -200. 

There’s no value on the Astros moneyline price, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in targeting them on this slate of games. The Orioles struggled against the Tigers, and their lives will be much more difficult in this matchup against Verlander, meaning targeting Houston on the run line is worth consideration at -114. 

Best Bet: Astros run line (-114)