Astros vs. Mariners MLB Pick – September 23, 2020

Major League Baseball Logo on Grey Concrete Background

It was another losing night with my free MLB picks as the losses continue to mount as we move into negative territory for the season. About a week’s worth of a brutal losing streak has wiped out gains it took all season to accumulate. That’s rattling.

I hit my Braves run like pick at +115 with ease as the offense mashed as expected while starter Bryse Wilson and a dominant Braves bullpen held up their end of the bargain in an 11-1 blowout win.

Before that one took place, however, we were already in a hole. Aaron Nola wasn’t at his best, but two Phillies errors helped Washington tack on a pair of unearned runs while Austin Voth pitched the game of his life en route to a 5-1 Nationals win that sunk our Phillies -1.5 run line pick with ease.

It all came down to our Rays moneyline pick over the Mets, but it wasn’t meant to me. The Rays’ offense stayed cold with just two runs on the night while the Mets chipped away at Rays reliever John Curtiss as the Mets upset the road favorites by a 5-2 final score.

The 1-2 night cost us 1.18 units, but I refuse to sway from the research that brought so many winners until this last week as I look forward to starting my next hot streak on today’s jam-packed 15-game schedule!

Season Record: 23-21-1

Units: -0.26

Now let’s check in on this free MLB pick featuring the Astros vs. Mariners in an AL West clash from Seattle!

Astros vs. Mariners Betting Odds

  • Astros (-201)
  • Mariners (+184)
  • Astros -1.5 (-125)
  • Mariners +1.5 (+105)
  • Over 8.5 (-107)
  • Under 8.6 (-113)

Astros vs. Mariners MLB Pick Breakdown

Starting Pitching

Astros

The Astros will send current ace Zack Greinke to the bump for this one tonight as he makes his 12th start of the season in this one.

Greinke has once again been real good here in 2020, pitching to a 3.90 ERA, but he also owns a far superior 2.87 FIP along with a 3.50 xFIP. Greinke’s 1.16 BB/9 trails only Marco Gonzales and Kyle Hendricks among qualified starters this season as this marks the third straight seasons in which Greinke has turned in a sub-2.00 BB/9. Even his 3.68 SIERA is below his ERA figure, so don’t be surprised to see improved results for the right-hander moving forward and into the postseason.

That said, he hasn’t been at his best of late. Greinke has surrendered at least three earned runs in each of his last six starts and has allowed 12 runs over his last three, spanning 16 innings. That works out to a 6.75 ERA, although his FIP has been 3.84 or better in two of those three starts, so again, it appears he’s been the victim of poor luck in that stretch.

Perhaps a meeting with the Mariners can cure what’s ailing him, a team he’s historically dominated. In 15 career appearances (13 starts) against Seattle, Greinke has posted a dominant 2.08 ERA across 90.2 innings. He’s also been lights out at T-Mobile Park in Seattle – formerly Safeco Field – as he owns a 2.41 career ERA at this venue across seven starts spanning 52.1 innings of work.

Mariners

The Mariners will counter with left-hander Nick Margevicius in this one tonight in what marks the 24-year-old’s seventh start and ninth appearance of the season.

He’ll enter this one sporting a 5.35 ERA on the season, but his 4.51 FIP and 4.53 xFIP suggest some poor fortune on his part as well. Margevicius is also the owner of a 4.48 SIERA, so he too should be sporting a better ERA on the surface.

He owns a decent 8.15 K/9 but a strong 2.80 BB/9 as well. He’s been hitting by the long ball, however, while allowing 1.53 HR/9, likely due to the combination of a high 39.8% fly-ball rate and elevated 38.5% hard contact rate as well. His 14.6% HR/FB ratio isn’t outrageous, but Margevicius needs to improve his 37.9% ground-ball rate in order to keep the ball in the park more often.

Like his counterpart, Margevicius has struggled of late as well. After rattling off two nice outings to begin his rotation tenure, Margevicius was mediocre for a few turns before allowing 10 runs over his last two starts and 9.2 innings, good for a 9.78 ERA in that time. He’s also allowed 11 hits, six walks and two homers over his last two starts and those 9.2 frames.

That said, he’s fared well in one start and one relief appearance against the Astros this season. In seven combined innings, he’s allowed just two earned runs and four hits while walking none and striking out three.

Offense

Astros

The Astros are coming off a fine offensive performance in last night’s 6-1 win, returning a favor from Monday when the Mariners opened the three-game set with a 6-1 victory themselves.

Surprisingly, however, this is an Astros team that has been below league average against both lefties and righties.

They fared quite well against lefties early, but now sit 21st with a .309 wOBA on the season against lefties, although their power plays up versus southpaws as they also rank 13th with a .176 ISO off of them this season.

That said, this is also an Astros team that is finally back to full health. The trio of George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman have all dealt with injuries this season, and while no one is about to feel sorry for this team, this is the first time in a while that the whole band has been back together.

You have to wonder if last night’s offensive output is the exception to the rule, however. It was the first time in their last seven games that they have scored more than three runs in a game. Before last night, they averaged a feeble 1.7 runs per game over their previous six.

Mariners

This Mariners team is faring far better than many thought heading into the truncated 2020 season, but their offense hasn’t been anything special against right-handed pitching.

They do own a 101 wRC+ versus righties which sits 16th, but they also rank 19th with a .313 wOBA off righties and 22nd with a .150 ISO off them. That said, they’re probably fortunate to even have those numbers as they also sit 28th with a weak 30% hard-hit rate off righties, a bad omen for this one as Greinke has allowed just 32.5% hard contact this season.

They’ve been better than the Astros of late, but still not great. They scored six runs on Monday, but have averaged just 3.2 runs per game over their last five, scoring just one run in two of those contests.

They’ll have to bounce back in a tough matchup tonight.

Bullpen

Astros

Despite a rash of injuries to their bullpen as well, the Astros have done well to sport a middle-of-the-pack bullpen this season, but this group is certainly not a weapon as we’ve seen out of Houston in year’s past.

The Astros enter this one sporting a 4.31 bullpen ERA, good for a share of 14th alongside the New York Mets. They also sit 14th with a 4.34 FIP while their xFIP of 4.78 slips down to 21st.

Walks have been a major issue for this group as their 5.10 BB/9 on the year sits dead last in the majors, although they’ve kept the ball in the yard at a seventh-ranked 0.97 HR/9 rate to this point.

Still missing from this bullpen, however, are the likes of closer Roberto Osuna, Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock and Austin Pruitt. Ryan Pressly, Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor and Andre Scrubb have been doing the heavy lifting and all sport ERAs of 3.60 or better, but the mere fact that it’s those four arms producing the most out of the bullpen shows how much this group as fallen in 2020.

Mariners

While the Astros’ bullpen hasn’t been as good as we’ve seen in recent seasons, it still easily takes the cake over this Mariners group.

The Mariners enter this one with a 28th-ranked 6.00 bullpen ERA on the season, but don’t expect much improvement any time soon as they also rank last with a 5.82 FIP, last with a 5.64 xFIP and last with a -1.5 fWAR. For good measure, their 1.73 HR/9 against on the season ranks 29th.

Mariners relievers combined for just 4.2 innings last night, but allowed five earned runs while getting tagged with the loss. That type of thing has been happening all season long for this ball club. That group walked five last night while allow two back-breaking home runs.

It’s certainly an area the team will need to address if they are to improve again in 2021.

Astros vs. Mariners MLB Pick

While I would call these offenses a wash for this season at least, there’s a sizeable pitching advantage with Houston here.

While he’s been touched up a bit of late, Zack Greinke is still Zack Greinke and he’s historically dominated this team and at this venue. He’s also sporting peripherals that suggest he’s been unlucky to this point.

While the same can be said for Margevicius, his peripherals still aren’t all that great. While the Astros as a team haven’t been great against lefties, George Springer and Alex Bregman are two of the best lefty-mashers in all of baseball and while he’s scuffled through injuries this season, Jose Altuve has a history of destroying lefties as well.

Even if they don’t have a notable lead when Margevicius departs, this Mariners bullpen is just so bad that I’d be surprised not to see the Astros score multiple runs against that group.

I think last night’s offensive performance carries over to this one while Greinke dominates this Mariners offense en route to an Astros run line victory.

The Bet
ASTROS -1.5
-125
Sub Categories:
Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.