Rays heavy underdogs at Astros on Thursday Game 5 odds

Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman, right, forces Tampa Bay Rays' Travis d'Arnaud (37) out at second before throwing to first to complete a double play in the fifth inning of Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The Tampa Bay Rays will be looking to complete a stunning comeback in their ALDS clash with Houston and punch their ticket to the ALCS when they take on the Astros on Thursday in Game 5 as +220 underdogs on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Tampa Bay opened the series with a pair of losses in Houston, but rebounded to tally victories on home turf in Games 3 and 4, leaving the club poised to win its first post-season series since 2008 in Thursday night’s game at Minute Maid Park.

The Rays dominated Houston in a 4-1 win as +190 home underdogs in Game 4 on Tuesday, limiting Houston to just six hits, and have allowed just seven total runs in three outings since opening the series with a 6-2 loss. However, success on the road remains elusive, with the Rays going 7-12 in 19 contests away from Tropicana Field since late August.

Road wins in Houston have also been rare for Tampa Bay. With their losses in Games 1 and 2, the Rays have now fallen to defeat in six of their last eight contests at Minute Maid Park while scoring two or fewer runs on five occasions, according to the OddsShark MLB Database. And while the Rays were dominant while piling up 13 hits in their Game 4 victory, they travel to Houston set back at +900 on the AL Pennant futures.

Now facing massive pressure following Tuesday’s loss, the Astros return home for Game 5 set as heavy -260 favourites. Houston’s losses in Games 3 and 4 mark the first time that the club has suffered consecutive defeats since September 12. In addition, the Astros have also dropped three in a row on just one occasion over their past 43 contests, a three-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland A’s in early September.

However, the Astros own a checkered record in sudden-death Game 5 situations, going 1-3 all-time, capped by a lopsided 7-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS. But apart from their collapse during last year’s ALCS loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Astros have been a reliable wager at online betting sites on home turf in the postseason, going 12-4 in 16 contests including a 7-1 run in eight ALDS contests.

The Astros also remain -125 favourites on the AL Pennant odds, just ahead of the New York Yankees, who are +125 second favourites following their sweep of the Minnesota Twins.

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