Yankees vs. Rays

Tuesday ALDS Game 2 previews: Astros vs. A’s and Yankees vs. Rays

Written by on October 5, 2020

The AL West champion Oakland A’s and AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays will again be the “home” teams for their ALDS Game 2 matchups Tuesday against the Astros from a neutral site in Los Angeles and the Yankees from San Diego, respectively. Then the Astros and Yankees will switch to the home side for Game 3.

  • When: 4:37 p.m. ET (Hou-Oak) and 8:10 p.m. ET (NYY-TB)
  • Where: Dodger Stadium (Hou-Oak) and Petco Park (NYY-TB)
  • TV/stream: TBS both, TBS app
  • MLB odds: TBA

How to Bet Astros vs. A’s and Yankees vs. Rays | Game 2

Astros-A’s probable pitchers | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

Houston starts good-looking young left-hander Framber Valdez. He was a workhouse for the Astros this season as he led the club with 70.2 innings pitched, which ranked sixth in the AL. Valdez had a breakout campaign, in what is his third Major League season, setting career highs in wins (5) and strikeouts (76). He also led the Majors in groundball to flyball ratio (3.56) and groundball rate (60%). Valdez generated 114 groundballs, the most in the AL.

He was one of baseball’s most efficient pitchers, as he ranked fourth in the Majors in fewest pitches per inning (14.8), behind Adam Wainwright (14.2), Kyle Hendricks (14.3), and Kenta Maeda (14.8). Valdez averaged 2,982 rpms on his curveball, giving him the 10th-highest spin rate among all Major League curveballs. He posted a career-best 5.6% walk rate, the fifth-best mark in the Majors, as he walked just 16 of 288 batters faced. Valdez had a 15.6% walk rate in his 2018 rookie season, and a 13.4% walk rate in 2019. The southpaw pitched seven strong innings against the A’s on Aug. 8, allowing two runs (one earned) and striking out nine.

Valdez was credited with the win last Tuesday after throwing five scoreless innings in relief against the Twins in the Wild-Card round. He struck out five and allowed just two hits. Valdez was the Astros’ best pitcher this year, so it was a controversial decision not to pencil him in for a start. He essentially made one anyway, throwing 66 pitches after replacing Zack Greinke with the Astros down 1-0 after four.

It’s lefty Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50) for Oakland. He last pitched Sept. 23 vs. the Dodgers, going six innings and allowing three runs in a no-decision. The 28-year-old allowed six hits, and he struck out four with one walk. He allowed two homers; a two-run shot to Max Muncy and a solo shot to Cody Bellinger. After allowing no more than one run in five consecutive starts, Manaea has allowed three in each of his previous two outings.

Manaea was dominant in his lone start against Houston in the regular season, tossing seven innings of one-run ball on Sept. 10. He’ll enter the postseason with some confidence, carrying a 2.65 ERA over his past six starts.

Yankees-Rays probable pitchers | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

New York starts Masahiro Tanaka. He went 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA (48.0IP, 48H, 25R/19ER, 8BB, 44K, 9HR) in 10 starts this year and allowed 2ER-or-fewer in seven of his 10 starts and gave up 3ER-or-fewer in 9-of-10 starts. He ranked eighth in the AL in BB/9.0IP (1.50) and 10th in K/BB (5.50) among pitchers who tossed at least 40.0IP. Tanaka received one-or-zero runs of support in five of his 10 starts. He went 0-2 with a 2.33 ERA (19.1IP, 5ER) in four road starts.

Tanaka had a 1.76 career playoff ERA in eight starts but was roughed up last Wednesday in Cleveland, allowing six runs over four-plus frames, escaping with a no-decision as the Yankees outlasted the Indians 10-9. The beginning of the game was delayed by rain and another rain delay arrived with one out and a runner on second base in the bottom of the first inning. Tanaka came back out after a short delay but didn’t look sharp in yielding three more runs in the frame. He started to settle in after that, though, facing just one over the minimum in his next three innings.

Tampa’s Tyler Glasnow (5-1, 4.08) pitched six innings of two-run ball and struck out eight Wednesday in defeating the Blue Jays to finish the Wild-Card sweep for the Rays. Handed a big early lead, Glasnow cruised relatively easily in this one, walking just one and throwing 86 pitches in six innings. He allowed a pair of homers to Danny Jansen, but the rest of the hits he gave up were singles. It was a big improvement over his two postseason starts last year, when he gave up a total of six runs in seven innings in the ALDS loss to Houston.

Glasnow made three starts against New York this season, going 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.

Expert picks

Astros 5, A’s 4; Rays 4, Yankees 3
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