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The American League Championship series is now a best-of-one. The Houston Astros have won three straight games to force the decisive Game 7 after falling behind 3-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays in the best-of-seven series. They’ve joined the 2004 Red Sox as the only teams in history to force a Game 7 after losing the first three games of a best-of-seven.

Let’s check out the pertinent details for Game 7.

How to watch

Date: Saturday, Oct. 17 | Time: 8:37 p.m. ET
Location: Petco Park (San Diego)
TV: TBS | Stream: TBS app
Odds: TB -115; HOU +105; O/U: 8
Pitchers: RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Lance McCullers Jr.
Follow: CBS Sports App    

Preview

Make no mistake, the pressure is all on the Rays going into Game 7. They might be the plucky underdog with a small payroll, but they are on the verge of blowing a 3-0 series lead now. The Astros went 29-31 during the regular season and weren’t supposed to force a Game 5 or a Game 6, let alone a Game 7, now here they are. They’re playing with house money.

The Game 7 pitching matchup is a rematch of Game 2. Morton labored but still tossed five shutout innings that game. He is already the only pitcher in history with three wins in winner-take-all games (2017 ALCS Game 7, 2017 World Series Game 7, 2019 AL Wild Card Game), and now he’s looking to add a fourth. McCullers was charged with four runs in seven innings in Game 2.

It should be noted Astros closer Ryan Pressly has pitched three consecutive days, and while I’m sure he’ll be available in Game 7, he may not be as effective as usual. Tampa’s bullpen is in better shape heading into the winner-take-all affair. Nick Anderson has struggled of late though, including surrendering a walk-off home run in Game 6.

Prediction

I’m picking the Astros to complete the comeback and win their third American League pennant in the last four years. Why not? They have taken control of the series and Tampa’s offense has been real weak aside from Randy Arozarena and Manuel Margot, who is suddenly a home run threat. Astros win Game 7 and Jose Altuve locks up the ALCS MVP award with a four-hit game. It has been foretold.

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