The Houston Astros make the long flight from Houston to Seattle tonight, after a nationally televised battle against the Red Sox last night. I had a pick in that game and we were saved by a 2-out 2-run bomb by the Astros. There were 8 runs scored after 3 innings and it took the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs for another run to go up on the board. The total was 9. I feel that baseball some of the worst bad beats in sports, and last night, we were able to avoid a really bad beat. We will try to avoid that much of a sweat job tonight in another Houston Astros game.
Doug Fister will take the mound for the Astros, following a crazy one in extra innings a night ago. The Mariners will counter with Taijuan Walker, who has been absolutely fantastic in the early goings of the 2016 season. The Mariners seem to pull out one of these pitchers out of their hat every so often and Walker may very well be the next up and comer in the organization.
The Mariners should entertain the thought of becoming the next up and coming team in MLB. That was the belief last season, that the Mariners were going to be a team to look out for. Seattle has long been a team which has ignored spending money on offense. They rode their pitching to be a decent but not a good team, or one worthy of playing in the postseason. So, what did they do? They went and signed one of the heaviest bats in baseball, Robinson Cano.
They also acquired a lead-off man, a guy who was a fixture for the Tigers, Austin Jackson. Neither paid off immediately, and Jackson is currently with the White Sox. Cano has had the deep ball in order so far, connecting with 6 home runs, including a game winning 3-run shot against the Indians a few days ago. We’re going to see if they can take advantage of a team coming off a long game and long flight. Let’s look for a winner to start the week off on the winning page.
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
Doug Fister (1-2, 5.94 ERA) vs. Taijuan Walker (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Finding another quality pitcher was a priority for the Astros this offseason. The Astros opted for the Doug Fister, who looks to have a deteriorating arm to deal with. Considering how well Jordan Zimmermann is pitching in Detroit, the Astros maybe should have invested a bit more money to get an arm like him. The Astros were trying to strike gold on a cheaper option, but getting gold out of Fister has passed. I noted earlier how unknowns pop-up in the Mariners’ organization from time to time, Fister is one of the pitchers I was alluding to. He pitched well in Seattle, gave the Tigers a lot of solid innings of work, was so-so in Washington, and now is trying to keep his career going in Houston. Fister has posted a 5.94 ERA this season thus far, including a 1.38 WHIP. He has allowed 11 runs over three outings.
Taijuan Walker might be a name you hear more of in a few months from now. There have been no issues with him, and he appears on pace to have a coming out party in 2016. In three starts, Walker allowed 2 runs in his first start, 1 in the following start, and none against the Indians his previous showing. It equates to a solid ERA of 1.50. Keeping runners off the bases has been a speciality of his as well, notching a small 0.94 WHIP thus far in 2016. He has had high expectations placed on him throughout his career, it might come together full circle. The Astros do not want to play tonight after they went through a gauntlet with the Red Sox last night. It’s one of those games, in the weekly spotlight game, which may result in a “hangover” for the next day. I like Walker to perform well again tonight, taking advantage of a tired lineup in the Astros.
PICK: MARINERS TO WIN -140