Rays visit the Astros to begin 3-game series
Tampa Bay Rays (85-71, third in the AL East) vs. Houston Astros (102-54, first in the AL West)
Houston; Friday, 8:10 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Rays: Drew Rasmussen (10-7, 2.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 122 strikeouts); Astros: Framber Valdez (16-5, 2.64 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 182 strikeouts)
BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Astros host the Tampa Bay Rays to start a three-game series.
Houston is 102-54 overall and 51-24 in home games. Astros pitchers have a collective 2.90 ERA, which ranks second in the majors.
Tampa Bay is 85-71 overall and 34-41 in road games. The Rays have a 63-17 record in games when they have more hits than their opponents.
Friday’s game is the fourth time these teams square off this season.
TOP PERFORMERS: Yordan Alvarez has 37 home runs, 77 walks and 96 RBI while hitting .304 for the Astros. Jose Altuve is 14-for-29 with two doubles, four home runs and five RBI over the last 10 games.
Yandy Diaz is sixth on the Rays with a .292 batting average, and has 32 doubles, nine home runs, 77 walks and 54 RBI. Wander Franco is 13-for-37 with three RBI over the last 10 games.
LAST 10 GAMES: Astros: 7-3, .254 batting average, 2.37 ERA, outscored opponents by 22 runs
Rays: 3-7, .206 batting average, 4.05 ERA, outscored by 12 runs
INJURIES: Astros: Lance McCullers Jr.: day-to-day (illness), Michael Brantley: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Jason Castro: 60-Day IL (knee), Josh James: 60-Day IL (lat)
Rays: Yandy Diaz: day-to-day (shoulder), Brandon Lowe: 60-Day IL (back), Ryan Yarbrough: 15-Day IL (oblique), Nick Anderson: 60-Day IL (foot), Jalen Beeks: 15-Day IL (leg), Ryan Thompson: 60-Day IL (tricep), Brendan McKay: 60-Day IL (elbow), Roman Quinn: 10-Day IL (knee), Shane Baz: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kevin Kiermaier: 60-Day IL (hip), Mike Zunino: 60-Day IL (shoulder), J.P. Feyereisen: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Andrew Kittredge: 60-Day IL (elbow)