SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day – Tuesday, August 27

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 222-171-10 (56.5%) *

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[8:10 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 – Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros
TB: Charlie Morton – R (13-5, 2.85 ERA/1.06 WHIP)
HOU: Justin Verlander – R (15-5, 2.77 ERA/0.81 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the Astros-Rays game on Tuesday night. We’re going with the under in this game, considering Vegas adjusted the game total from 8.5 to 7.5, with both sides getting significant IRT (implied run total) decreases – Rays: -0.7, Astros: -0.4.

Justin Verlander has endured some of the worst possible luck in recent starts, but he’s still pitching at an elite level. In fact, the electric righty has now posted double-digit strikeout games in each of his last seven outings.

Although it was all the way back in March, Verlander dazzled the Rays in seven innings of one-run ball while striking out nine batters. Tampa Bay comes into today’s game after losing two straight games to the Orioles, followed by on off-day, so their bats and minds are still likely to be in a funk on Tuesday night.

Charlie Morton returns to the city that basically reinvented his career, and got him a World Series ring. The veteran righty has talked in recent days about loving it here in Houston and having all the respect in the world for his old teammates, but he’s got a job to do – and more importantly, the Rays are still fighting for that second AL Wild Card spot.

This is a matchup between two of the best arms in baseball, so we should definitely expect these guys to feed off one another. It’s worth noting, many opposing pitchers have done the same in trying to match Verlander, as six of his last seven starts have resulted in the game total reaching seven runs or fewer.

* Final Score Prediction * Houston Astros: 3 – Tampa Bay Rays: 2