The Seattle Mariners will try and put a small dent in the Astros’ AL West lead with a win on Thursday in the series finale. The Mariners didn’t do a good job of bothering the Astros in the first two meetings, but made it a good game on Wednesday evening. The Astros are so far ahead of the pack that the Mariners winning doesn’t impact much. In other words, a win today isn’t going to much of a dent or even a blemish into the AL West if they do in fact beat Justin Verlander today.
Houston lead the division by double digits over the Rangers and Athletics. They can stop and take a nap for a couple of weeks and are still getting out of the AL West with the divisional crown. There is usually a team you can identify to take a run at the leader in the second-half, but I really can’t see any AL West team scaring the Astros any.
The talent gap is rather substantial between the ‘Stros and the rest of the division. This is with Lance McCullers and Collin McHugh on the shelf of the pitching staff, along with Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Jose Altuve out for the offense.
For the sake of argument if all of them happened to be gone for the regular season, the Astros are still the favorites in the AL West. We’ve seen the Astros flash off a little of their depth recently, much in the same way the Yankees didn’t allow major injuries to both them.
In on Thursday will be Justin Verlander on the hill, as he hasn’t been impacted by an injury, knock on wood. The rotation is still solid, and of Corbin Martin can hit a stride, there wouldn’t be any holes. Yeah, without a doubt Charlie Morton sure would have been nice right now. Veteran Tommy Milone will get the start across from JV today. Head below for our free Astros vs. Mariners pick.
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Astros will turn to Justin Verlander to get the job done for the Astros on Thursday. Verlander has mowing down hitters again in 2019 with no signs of slowing down at 36 years old. He may be in the later stages of his career, but he isn’t pitching like a guy anywhere close to considering retirement. Barring injuries and performance, he’s likely going to go into his 40’s. The Tigers only traded him because they were just getting into a rebuilding phase and wanted to shed salary.
Verlander rolls into Thursday with an ERA of 2.27 and 0.73 WHIP on the season. Vintage JV keeps plowing through hitters like 2011 with the Tigers. Verlander’s previous career-high was in 2011 and he is on pace to currently break it with his numbers at the moment. In his last three outings, Verlander has been locked in with a 1.96 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, and an opposing team OBP of .155. Also note that JV hasn’t allowed more than a run in eight of his last ten starts. The Astros’ offense is banged up, but they should be able to rely on a sharp performance from Verlander.
Tommy Milone will be tasked with keeping up with Verlander this afternoon. Milone is in the rotation as an emergency replacement because of injuries. He’s making the most out of his chances and has been pitching well for the Mariners. The nine-year pitcher has been solid in three starts with an ERA of 3.60 and 1.20 WHIP. However, Milone was hanging on to a thread against the Angels in his most recent outing. It nearly turned into a disaster, as Milone allowed 7 hits and 2 walks in 4.1 innings. Though, he escaped with only 2 earned runs docked on his resume. Consider the Astros on the runline in Seattle on Thursday.