After sending Oakland packing with a barrage of homers in the winner-take-all Wild Card, the Tampa Bay Rays will head to Houston to take on the Astros to kick off the AL Divisional Round.
The game is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox Sports 1. If you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV Stick or other streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Fox Sports 1 is one of the 95-plus live TV channels included in the main FuboTV bundle, which is largely tailored towards sports.
You can start a free seven-day trial of FuboTV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the Rays vs Astros on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other supported device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which will allow you to watch the game on-demand within three days of its conclusion, even if you don’t record it.
Fox Sports 1 is included in Hulu With Live TV, which comes with 60-plus live TV channels and Hulu’s extensive on-demand library of TV shows and movies.
You can sign up for Hulu with Live TV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the Rays vs Astros on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu With Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as the option to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of space and the ability to fast-forward through commercials.
Sling TV’s “Sling Blue” bundle comes with 40-plus live TV channels, including Fox Sports 1.
You can start a free seven-day trial of Sling TV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the Rays vs Astros on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, cloud DVR is available as an add-on.
Rays vs Astros Game 1 Preview
The Astros will hand the ball to Justin Verlander to open the series, who has been stellar of late even by his lofty standard. This season he recorded a 21-6 record with a 2.58 ERA. He also notched an incredible 300 strikeouts in 2019.
And unfortunately for the rest of the league, Verlander doesn’t plan on stepping away anytime soon, taking a Tom Brady-like approach to his greatness.
“I guess I kind of pegged this like 45 number. Whether that’s realistic or not, I don’t know,” said Verlander, almost 24 hours before he was set to match up against 26-year-old Tampa Bay righthander Tyler Glasnow. “I know I’m not going to sell myself short. I’m going to continue to do all the work that I can. I’m going to continue to adapt, going to continue to work my butt off in the offseason, and then do all the kind of maintenance stuff and whatever new things come around that I need to adjust with in-season.
“I know the arm is healthy. I mean, I think the one thing that pitchers need to maintain that is unique in our sport is every mile an hour that you maintain or lose, it directly correlates with success.”
The Astros have the best odds to win the World series at 2-1, and there’s good reason. Waiting behind Verlander in the rotation is Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke, two pitchers who would be unquestioned aces on just about any other staff in the MLB.
“As long as I’ve got the type of top-end rotation, then I certainly firmly believe in the starting pitcher setting the tone and doing all the things that a normal, traditional starting pitcher would do … I love the three at the top of our rotation, and I’ll take that model every day,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said.
The Rays will send out Tyler Glasnow, who had an uneven year that was marked by injury. Most recently, he missed time from May 11-Sept. 8 with a right forearm strain. However, Rays manager Kevin Cash has gushed about what he brings to the table.
“This is everything you dream about,” he said. “You’re a little kid, you think about playing playoff baseball. Now that it’s here, it’s pretty amazing.”
The Astros are massive favorites with Verlander on the hill at -215, making them the largest favorite of the divisional round. The total for the game is at 7.5 runs.
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