The Houston Astros take their show on the road to Seattle with a five game win streak on the line against the Mariners. It has been a special season for the Astros, who have turned their fortunes around in impressive fashion. The Lance Berkman error signaled the end of an era for the Astros a few seasons ago, but the ‘Stros are right back in the saddle after a couple of unproductive seasons. They have struck back hard this season, catapulting them to a 40-28 record. If the Astros aren’t represented well in the All-Star game then it is going to be a crying shame. At the very least Dallas Keuchel has to get there for what he has done for that team and bringing them to a position where they can not only compete with the rest of the league, but thrive and be contenders to make the postseason.
Keuchel isn’t the only workhorse in the Astros rotation. A little named guy, even less known than Keuchel at this point in their careers, is Lance McCullers. We’ve already made some money from him already this season and we will see if we are in a position to do it again today. McCullers has been a great sidekick for Keuchel, and provides the Astros with a pretty impressive 1-2 punch in the rotation. To be a successful team you need to have that, and thus far in the season anyway, the Astros have been able to exert some productive numbers from the both of them. Keuchel has a proven track record, but McCullers is trying to make a name for himself as well. Last night for us, Doug Fister fell apart in the 6th inning which opened the doors for a 4 run frame for the Rays. It was enough to get by the Nationals by a 5-3 score, and in return, a winning pick last night. Read below, as we look to get the weekend started off with another winner in attempt for a big weekend.
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
Lance McCullers (3-1, 2.00 ERA) vs. Roenis Elias (3-4, 3.67 ERA)
The season the Astros are having was supposed to be the year the Mariners were supposed to be having. Instead the Astros are looking at a 40-28 record, while the Mariners are there at 30-37. The money they’ve put in to fixing the offense hasn’t resulted in a return on their investment, to this point anyway. McCullers has been solid as a rock for the Astros during this big season. He enters with a 2.00 ERA and 0.89 ERA. His best performances have come lately, which is a welcoming sign. With any young pitcher that is throw into the fire, what you want to see is improvement and consistency from the. That is what I have seen from McCullers. His last three starts yielded a 1.71 ERA and 0.57 WHIP. He didn’t allow 1 run against the Mariners in his last start against them. Most teams struggle with lefties, but not the Mariners, as they have had issues solving right-handers. They hit .225 on the year against righties.
McCullers should be able to get the best of Elias, who has had a rough go of it lately, posting a 5.19 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in his most recent three starts, but if you look at it closer it hasn’t been as bad as it seems. He got taken for 7 runs in his last start. However, that was his only bad start this season, so the ERA is inflated because of it. In all of his other starts he allowed more than 3 runs just once. I like a low scoring matchup here that favors the UNDER 7.
PICK: UNDER 7 RUNS (-128)