Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners Pick – Major League Baseball April 17, 2022

The Houston Astros play in Seattle today, against the Mariners, trying to pick up the series win. The Astros and Mariners have split the series thus far, with the M’s dominating in game 1 with an 11-1 blowout victory, and the Astros evening the series up last night behind a big outing from Justin Verlander, to shut down the Seattle attack and win the game 4-0. Entering play today, the Astros are sitting all alone in 1st place in the AL West division, a half of a game up on both Los Angeles and Oakland, and a game and a half up on Seattle.

For Seattle, the Mariners have a young up-and-coming team, and after adding a bunch of talent in the offseason, they are looking to break through with their first postseason appearance since 2001. The bats have been inconstant for Seattle, but their pitching staff has been excellent, holding opposing teams to 4 runs or fewer in 7 of their 9 games this season. After a multi-year rebuild, the Mariners would love nothing more than to deliver a series win over their hated rival Astros in their first home series of the year.

This game is currently sitting at an even money pick ‘em after some early line moves that saw the Astros open as road favorites. The game total has also dropped from its opening line of 8 runs down to 7.5 with the starting pitching matchup between Houston’s Jose Urquidy and Seattle’s Matt Brash. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PST from T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

Houston Astros (5-3)

We all expected to see the Houston Astros run production dip some this season after losing All-Star slugger Carlos Correa in free agency to the Minnesota Twins, but I am not sure anybody expected to see them hit as poorly as they have so far this year. Now, to be fair to Houston, Yordan Alverez has missed time with a COVID-19 diagnosis, so they are forced to play without one of the best hitters in baseball, but he isn’t expected to be back until after this series, so if Houston is going to find a way to score enough runs to win this game today in Seattle, they are going to have to do it shorthanded.

The Astros are currently hitting an anemic .214 as a team, and their on-base percentage of .282 is 25th in the majors. They still have shown some pop, with 10 dingers, but they rarely get men on base, and solo shot home runs aren’t going to be enough to get them back to the playoffs if that is all they can continue to produce.

Jose Altuve is hitting .138, Kyle Tucker is hitting .129, and Yuli Gurriel is hitting just .200. All of those guys are established hitters and should turn things around sooner rather than later, but right now, this Astros lineup is looking nothing like the team full of mashers that we have seen dominate the AL West for the last several seasons.

Jose Urquidy

Despite the lack of run production, the Astros still have a winning record, and it has been because of the strength of their pitching staff. Jose Urquidy deserves his share of the credit for the hot start for Houston on the mound, as he had a nice outing in his lone start of the season. In that game, Urquidy worked 5 innings, and gave up just a single earned run on 4 hits and no walks against the LA Angels, picking up a win for his efforts.

He only struck out 2 Angels in that game, but that has been Urquidy’s M.O in his career, as he tends to pitch to contact rather than trying to strike guys out, which allows him to keep his pitch count down and get him deeper into games. You don’t hear a lot about his guy, but he is very quietly becoming one of the most consistent middle of the rotation starters in the American League, with a 3.50 ERA in his 4 seasons with Houston.

At age 26, and only 33 career starts under his belt, there is a lot of room to grow for Urquidy and while he isn’t a guy that is going to blow you away with raw stuff, he gets guys out and he gives his team a chance to win every time that he pitches. Last year against the Mariners, Urquidy posted a 3.68 ERA in 3 starts, so he knows how to pitch well against the Mariners and should be solid today on the road.

Today’s Starting Pitching Matchup

Jose Urquidy

  • (1-0)
  • 1.80 ERA
  • 3.6 K/9 Ratio
  • 0.80 WHIP
Matt Brash

  • (0-1)
  • 3.38 ERA
  • 10.1 K/9 Ratio
  • 0.93 WHIP

Seattle Mariners (4-5)

All signs point to this being the best season in a long time for the Seattle Mariners. They have a great mix of young talent and experienced veterans, and GM Jerry Dipoto has made it clear that they are ready to win now. Seattle will be without one of their best players in this game though, as Mitch Haniger has the ‘Rona and won’t be available.

If last year taught us anything about COVID-19, it is that we rarely see a single isolated case like this, so don’t be shocked if you see a couple more Mariners hit the IL in the coming days. Which is a shame, as it could derail this early season success we have been seeing out of Seattle, that their fan base has been patiently waiting a generation to see happen.

Dipoto made a big splash in the offseason when he brought in Jesse Winker, Adam Frazier, and Eugenio Suarez to bolster their lineup, and in game 1 of this series, we saw just how potent those guys could be as they combined for 7 hits and 8 RBI. Jose Urquidy is no joke, but these M’s have significantly more pop at the plate this year than they had last year, and they looked great against Houston in their 2022 home opener. You can expect some runs coming today for Seattle, but with youngster Matt Brash getting the start, they may not need very many to win this game.

Matt Brash

Matt Brash was a throw-in guy in a trade that Dipoto made a couple of years back, and last year he went from a middling prospect to one of the top guys in the Mariners farm system, as he was light’s out in the minors. In stops at single-A and double-A, Brash was outstanding, with a 2.31 ERA and an almost unbelievably good 13.1 K/9 ratio across 20 starts. Brash was called up at the end of last season but never made it into a game, and this year, he was too good in spring training to be denied a spot in the Seattle rotation as their 5th starter.

In spring training, he made 3 appearances, 2 of them starts, and was stupid good, with a 0.96 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched, racking up 12 Ks along the way, while allowing just 3 base hits. In his regular season MLB debut last week, he was again strong, working into the 6th inning against the hard-hitting Chicago White Sox, holding them to just 2 earned runs in 5.1 innings and punching out 6. This kid isn’t a household name just yet, but outside of Robbie Ray, there isn’t a guy on this Seattle roster that has raw stuff any better than Matt Brash.

Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners Betting Odds And Team Statistics

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Money line Total Run Line
Houston Astros (-105) Over 7.5 (-110) +1.5 (-240)
Seattle Mariners (-105) Under 7.5 (-110) -1.5 (+200)
Team Data Houston Astros Seattle Mariners
Overall Record 5-3 4-5
Home Record 0-0 1-1
Away Record 5-3 3-4
Runs Per Game 3.62 3.55
Runs Against Per Game 2.69 3.27
Hits Per Game 7.25 6.78
K’s Per Game 6.75 8.22

Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners Prediction:

Matt Brash is just 23 years old and he is going to be a special player. His movement on his fastball is elite, and he has an uncanny ability to miss bats. Watching him navigate around that White Sox lineup, that is chalked full of power hitters, was supremely impressive, and while Houston is certainly going to be better at some point this season than they have been so far this year, he might have caught them at the perfect time to shut them down. Jose Urquidy is going to be solid as well, and this feels like one of those 3-2 types of games.

Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners Betting Trends:

Houston Astros
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 6 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 6 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Seattle
  • Houston is 7-2 SU in their last 9 games against an opponent in the American League
  • Houston is 6-2 SU in their last 8 games against an opponent in the American League West Division
Seattle Mariners
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Seattle’s last 9 games
  • Seattle is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Seattle’s last 5 games against Houston
  • The total has gone OVER in 10 of Seattle’s last 14 games at home
  • Seattle is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games against an opponent in the American League

If all things are equal, I am always going to lean on the home team. The Mariners are a young team overall, and young guys just play better at home. We saw that in their home opener when the stands were rocking and this team finally looked like the team that most expected them to be coming into this season, and I expect them to play well again today in front of their home fans. Jose Urquidy is a guy that will let you hit the baseball, and with contact hitters like Adam Frazier, JP Crawford, and Ty France, that is the type of pitcher that the Mariners have success against.

We saw yesterday that if a starter has nasty swing and miss stuff, that the Mariners are prone to striking out a lot. But against Urquidy, they are going to be able to put the ball in play, and that bodes well for them in this game, as I can’t say the same thing for Houston against Matt Brash. This will be a tight game and we are going to have to sweat it out, but my gut says that without Yordan Alverez, and little to no scouting report on Matt Brash, in just his 2nd Big League start, that the Astros are going to have a long day at the plate.

If you play fantasy baseball and you haven’t picked up Matt Brash yet, hear me now, grab him while you still have a shot! As this kid is going to finish this year with Rookie of the Year votes. Seattle has a farm system full of elite pitching prospects with Logan Gilbert coming up last year, and future studs like Emerson Hancock and George Kirby due up any day, but none of them have the upside of Matt Brash. At the end of the season, we are all going to look back and be amazed that we could get Brash at even money at home, and I will get ahead of that curve today with a play on the Mariners behind a stellar start from young Matt Brash.

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Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL

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