The Houston Astros welcome the Seattle Mariners where they’ll take on a desperate Mariners squad. I noted earlier this week that the Mariners have to look out. They have a tricky schedule coming up. After swallowing a bad loss against a bad team on Wednesday, the Mariners have a tough weekend against the Astros. Seattle lost two of three against the Rangers, which is just throwing away winnable games.
This was after they lost three of four against the Blue Jays last weekend. In the Astros last trip to Seattle at the end of July, they beat the Mariners for three of four. There is clearly a pattern unfolding for the Mariners. The conclusion of this story has yet to be written, but the writing is starting to formulate on the wall in Seattle.
The wildcard is still up for grabs, so it isn’t a time to get down and give up. Seattle have been good at giving up late in seasons before and they don’t need it now. Last season they probably should have made the postseason, but injuries to their starting rotation decimated their chances. The Mariners are still without Iwakuma, and that hurts, but it’s no excuse for choking away the lead they had on the Athletics.
Felix Hernandez allowed a career-high 11 runs on Wednesday. That basically summed up the Mariners’ second-half of the year. They’ll get Paxton on the hump this evening, who will need to outduel Justin Verlander on Thursday at Minute Maid. A win against JV could provide some needed confidence for a team that has zero energy at the moment. Get our free Mariners vs. Astros pick
Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros Pick
James Paxton (9-5, 3.51 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (11-6, 2.19 ERA)
The Astros should get some good news with the return of Carlos Correa for the homestand. There have been some positive signs with Jose Altuve as well, but he’s still on the sidelines nursing a bad knee. A healthy Altuve puts this offense elevates this offense considerably. The Houston offense has been average to below average since the All-Star break. Other than 14 runs against the Dodgers and 8 against the Mariners, the Astros have scored 2.4 runs per game.
The Astro pitching has been propelling them forward. Verlander has helped the cause with an ERA of 2.19 in 2018. He’s been hot lately with a 1.45 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in his previous three contests. JV was clutch as ever against a big-time opponent, the Dodgers, in his last start. He held them to just 4 hits and 1 run in 4.2 innings of action. Verlander likes to come up like that in big games and it was no different in a World Series rematch against the Dodgers. He caught fire down the stretch for the ‘Stros in 2017 and it wouldn’t be surprising if he repeats.
Houston have a long history against Paxton in the AL West. In 221 at-bats, the Astros are hitting .231 with George Springer the only batter to earn a dinger off Paxton. He did it on three separate occasion, so memo to Paxton, don’t give hittable balls to Springer. Paxton owns a record of 6-3 and career 2.59 ERA against the Astros in his career. He was fantastic in his last outing against the Astros, as he held them scoreless with just 3 hits over 8 innings of play. I’d take a look at the UNDER in Houston for this play between the Mariners and Astros.