Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners – MLB April 16

10:10 p.m. ET – Astros (-115) at Mariners O/U: 8

The 6-6 Astros are riding a five-game losing streak into Seattle as they open up their three-game set against the 8-5 Mariners on Friday night. Houston most recently was swept at home by the lowly Tigers, getting outscored 20-8 over a three-game span.

Seattle is headed in the opposite direction, winning six of its last eight, including a doubleheader sweep on Thursday over the Orioles.

About the Astros

Houston Astros LogoThe Astros have fallen victim to COVID-19 protocols that have forced them to be without Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez for over a week, none of whom will play in this series. Houston ranks fourth in the majors in runs scored per game and third in hits per game. However, a large portion of that success came when its lineup was at full strength.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel has stepped up while the heart of the order is sidelined, batting .429 through 12 games. Shortstop Carlos Correa has picked up the slack as well, with three home runs in his last seven games while batting .308 in that span. Left fielder Michael Brantley is batting .324 for the season, but has hit just .200 in his last seven games. Houston cannot afford for one of its few healthy key pieces to be cold with Altuve, Bregman, and Alvarez not in the lineup. The Astros’pitching ranks 15th in the majors with a 4.29 ERA.

About the Mariners

Seattle Mariners LogoSeattle is looking to vault themselves out of a rebuild and into contention in 2021. Leading the way for the Mariners so far has been outfielder Mitch Haniger, batting .321 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. Haniger being such a success has been a much-needed and welcome addition for the Mariners this season.

Haniger’s success has been so necessary due to 2020 American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis being on the Injured List with a knee injury suffered during spring training. The Mariners are going to need other young talent, such as outfielder Taylor Trammell, to step up and help Haniger in Lewis’ absence.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Houston Astros -1½ (+135) -110 O 8 (-115)
Seattle Mariners +1½ (-160) -110 U 8 (-105)

The Pitching Matchup

The Astros are turning to right-hander Jose Urquidy to try and end their five-game skid. Urquidy is 0-1 this season with a 5.23 ERA in two starts where he threw 10.1 innings and racked up 12 strikeouts. Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi is getting the ball for the Mariners after posting a 3.75 ERA in a combined 12 innings pitched over two starts this season.

What’s the Bet?
There is an old baseball saying that goes, “Momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher.” Well, fortunately for the team that has won six of eight, they have the pitching advantage over the team that has no momentum whatsoever. Houston is looking for answers so far this season, with a 2-5 record in games they have been favored. Meanwhile, Seattle has thrived in the underdog role, going 6-4 in games they have not been favored in. The Mariners are hitting and pitching better than the Astros at the moment.

The only reason the Astros are favored is because odds makers know the public is going to bet on the team they are more familiar with and much of the public assumes this is the same bad Seattle team of recent years.

Go against the public and take the team that is at full strength as a short home underdog.
The Bet
Mariners

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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