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ALDS Game 5

Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros

Over/Under: 7

First pitch: 4:07 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 1.78 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA)

When Cole took the mound Saturday evening in Game 2, also in Houston, little did we know that the American League Cy Young candidate would go on to present one of the most dominant performances in postseason history (an over we had, one of my two playoff losses thus far).

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This time around, after the Astros dropped both games at Tropicana Field, much different circumstances will be at stake.  It’s the decisive Game 5, and after the Los Angeles Dodgers — who won the most games in the NL — were knocked out last night in the same predicament, you know Cole will come through in efforts of preserving a campaign that saw his club finish with the best record in baseball for the first time in franchise history.

In that historic outing five days ago, Cole racked up a whopping 15 strikeouts while pitching into the eighth and keeping the Rays scoreless. Not only does that mark rank among the most K’s registered by one pitcher in a playoff game, it also extended Cole’s major league record to 10 straight starts with a double-digit punch-outs.

As great as he’s been in the recent past, the seven-year veteran has never looked better than right now. Remember, prior to his memorable showing in the second game of this series, Cole went 16-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his final 22 assignments of the regular season. Just keep trusting him.

Can we trust Glasnow also in this do-or-die spot? Well, the argument can be made that the 26-year-old has never looked better as well. Since coming back from injury, Glasnow has yielded no more than a pair of runs in each of his five outings (including last Friday’s Game 1) — and only four runs combined.

Half of that output came courtesy of the Astros bats, who were able to scratch out a couple of runs off Glasnow in the series opener. The right-hander still looked, good though, as it took until that fateful innings for Houston to tally something in the runs column.

Glasnow also struck out five in the effort, continuing his absurd high-strikeout rate tendencies. He’s always been able to sit down opponents via the K, of course, but those immense talents have been even more on display following his return. In fact, he’s notched 26 strikeouts across just 16.2 innings during this span; or in other words, more than half the outs he’s recorded have been strikeouts.

Get set for a heavy dose of power pitching on each side. With at least one overpowering result likely to ensue, that may be enough to maintain a final score on the low side. Play: UNDER 7 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Nationals-Dodgers Under 7 (“loss”)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units

Playoffs: 7-2, +2.5 units

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)

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