Astros vs. Rays: ALCS Game 2 TV Schedule and Pick

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 12, 2020

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) throws against the New York Yankees during the first inning in Game 3 of a baseball American League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays contained the red-hot Houston Astros bats to claim the early advantage in the American League Championship Series. 

The AL East champion will attempt to do the same thing in Monday's Game 2, as it sends Charlie Morton to the hill to oppose Lance McCullers Jr. 

Morton was an integral part of Houston's World Series success in 2017, and he has been a reliable starter for the Rays in each of the last two postseasons. 

McCullers has been used as a starter and reliever in his postseason career in a Houston uniform, but now he is one of the top starters with Justin Verlander injured and Gerrit Cole and Morton with other ball clubs. 

Morton has been the more consistent of the two hurlers, and that could lead to another shutdown of the Houston offense inside Petco Park.

         

ALCS Game 2 Information

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Start Time: 4:08 p.m. ET

TV: TBS

Live Stream: TBS.com

Ticket Info: No tickets are being sold for the ALCS

     

Pick

Tampa Bay over Houston

In his last seven postseason appearances, Morton allowed more than two earned runs once. 

In three playoff outings as a Tampa Bay player, the right-handed hurler conceded two earned runs over 15 innings of work. 

McCullers has been a bit more shaky in the postseason, as he let up four earned runs on five hits in his last time out in Game 1 of the ALDS.

Luckily for McCullers, the Houston offense backed him up with 10 runs, and he was never in danger of being on the losing end of the decision. 

The Rays may be able to get runs off McCullers through the long ball, as Houston's Game 2 starter allowed three home runs to the Athletics.

Randy Arozarena produced one of the two Tampa Bay runs in Game 1 off a fourth-inning home run, which was his fourth of the postseason. 

In their ALDS win over the New York Yankees, the Rays hit 11 home runs, with five coming from Arozarena and Austin Meadows. 

Meadows should be back in the lineup for Game 2 since he matches up better with right-handed starters. He was rested in Game 1 since the Astros threw left-hander Framber Valdez. 

Six other Tampa Bay batters produced a single home run in the last series, but Arozarena and Meadows should be the biggest threats to McCullers from the top of the order. 

Morton has only allowed four home runs in 10 playoff appearances, and he conceded one long ball in his last seven postseason outings. 

That does not bode well for the Astros, who mashed 12 home runs and scored on 33 occasions in the ALDS triumph over Oakland.

On Sunday, the Astros managed nine hits, but none of them went over the fence, and they finished 2-of-8 with runners in scoring position. 

Morton does not need to be perfect, but if he contains Houston by either getting out its best hitters or stranding runners, he could allow the Rays bullpen to take over with a lead. 

In Game 1, four Rays relievers combined to allow three hits and two walks. If they are efficient again Monday, the AL East squad could walk into Game 3 with a two-game advantage.

           

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference