Time is ticking down on the Seattle Mariners’ season, but yesterday they stepped up in a big way to bulldoze the Athletics for a 10-2 final. The win gave them their third win in a row. It was much needed after losing five in a row, but they still find themselves 2.5 back. There is no room for anymore five-game losing streaks. If so, they are done for.
There are too many teams competing for a wildcard, with too little time left in the regular season. I don’t think this is who they wanted to see coming to Seattle right now. The Houston Astros will march into Seattle with a whopping 13.5 game lead in the American League West with a record of 83-53.
The Astros are still playing for homefield advantage in the American League, though. Cleveland has been on fire over the last month, and have pulled to within three games with 80 wins on the year. The Astros and Indians may very well meet in the ALCS so it could come down to being important. There really isn’t a true number 1 in my opinion. I give a slight lean to the Indians due to their bullpen, but it’s going to be a wild ride in October.
If the Mariners want a shot at it, they must find a way to get into the play-in game. A win tonight against the Astros would be a good start. Justin Verlander will not be making his debut as an Astro tonight, but Dallas Keuchel will go instead. Verlander and Keuchel combine for such a deadly 1-2 punch that will compete with any pitching staff out there.
When it looks too good to be true, though, it usually is in baseball. The moves the Astros and Dodgers have made, it’d be a major flop if they don’t reach the World Series. The Dodgers are well known for their choke jobs, but can they really mess this season up? We’ll find out soon. But before then, the Mariners are fighting for the postseason. Get our Astros vs. Mariners pick for free at The Sports Geek.
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners Pick
Dallas Keuchel (11-3, 2.91 ERA) vs. Erasmo Ramirez (5-5, 4.43 ERA)
The Mariners helped us out in a major way yesterday, carrying us to the OVER against the Oakland A’s. Seattle may not find it as easy against Keuchel tonight. Keuchel is coming off a rather bad performance vs the Rangers, getting throttled for 6 runs in 6 innings. He was a bit wild, allowing 3 walks and a long ball on the outing. The last time Keuchel got ripped, 8 runs allowed against the White Sox, he came back and allowed 1 run and no runs in his next two showings.
Keuchel must try and avoid giving Nelson Cruz easy pitches to hit. Cruz is hitting Keuchel for a BA of .375 with 3 dingers. Erasmo Ramirez will counter for the Mariners, who is another guy filling in for the absence of Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Paxton. He’s been holding up reasonably well, posting a 4.43 ERA and 2.66 ERA at home. Note, though, most of those numbers come from in Tampa.
Ramirez has only made one appearance at home in Seattle, where he blanked the Angels. However, I expect the Astros to be too much to handle, with Ramirez getting handed a blemish on his resume tonight. He will be facing the best offense in the majors who are averaging 5.56 per game and 7 in their last three games. Keuchel should be due for a bounce back performance, too. The Mariners need a win, but the Astros close the door to sustain their lead in the American League.
PICK: ASTROS (-155)