The Houston Astros head to Seattle after a weekend series against the Texas Rangers. The Astros have been a good team of course, and are going to be right there at the top as threats to win another World Series. As I write this article, the Rangers just defeated the Astros in extra innings by a score of 3-1. The pitching has been good for Houston so far, it’s been carrying the load or they would likely be a .500 team right now.
Offensively, the Astro offense has been lagging behind. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about that, they’ll eventually come around. There are some teams who can suddenly turn it on and can’t be stopped. This is going to be the case of the Astros in the summer. Pay attention, because it’s easy to find the hot teams and ride their team total.
As it is currently, the Astros’ offense hasn’t gotten to that point yet. They’ve depended on their bevy of aces to bail the hitters out. Their rotation alone is going to be enough to carry them, but when the offense starts rolling, they’re going to be a hard team to beat, like in 2017. It doesn’t matter which day it is, the Astros are more often than not featuring a quality pitcher. Tonight it’s Dallas Keuchel who is next in line for the Astros. He will make his fourth start of the year in Seattle. His numbers haven’t looked ace like at all, but that should change. The phenom of the 2017 season for the Mariners, James Paxton, will counter for the Mariners. Head below for our free Astros vs. Mariners pick.
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
Dallas Keuchel (0-2, 4.20 ERA) vs. James Paxton (0-1, 5.74 ERA)
Keuchel is a recipient of a Cy Young in 2015. He finished with an ERA of 2.48 for a career-high. Last season he wasn’t quite at that level, but played a big role in their championship. Keuchel posted an ERA of 2.90 with a record of 14-5. He wasn’t particular strong in the World Series, with a 5.23 ERA, but it ultimately didn’t matter. This was when balls were flying all over the place and the talk of juiced balls beginning to go around. Keuchel has allowed 3 runs twice this season and 1 once. He holds a 4.20 ERA heading into tonight. The Mariners have found it tough to hit against him. They’re hitting .181, while Keuchel enjoys a 1.31 ERA and 0.919 WHIP against the Mariners.
James Paxton is probably best known as the guy who had a bald eagle try and sit on him at the season opener. He should be better recognized as a good pitcher, though. Paxton flew under the radar in Seattle a year ago, posting a 2.98 ERA before he had to sit down with an injury. He’s been a model of consistency throughout his career, with his ERA never going over the 4.00 mark. Paxton never got much recognition until last year, though.
However, like Keuchel, his numbers don’t look too hot, but note, it’s due to his first start, he’s been solid in his previous two. He allowed 6 runs against the Indians, but came back to pitch well against the Twins and Royals, allowing 2 runs in each start. Both of these guys should see impressive numbers in a month or two from now. The Astros have been trending towards the UNDER this season, 11-5 overall and 8-2 in their last ten games. The UNDER has gone 8-2 in the Astros and Mariners last ten meetings. It looks like there’s a good chance of another low-scoring contest tonight.