The Houston-Seattle series has already burnt us once this week, and it has been on the undeniably strangest series of the MLB season. First, King Felix gives up eight runs and gets the hook one out into the first inning – easily the worst outing of his professional life, en route to a 10-0 Astros win. Then yesterday, the Mariners, who can’t hit a lick, jumped all over the ‘Stros, touching them up for eight early runs en route to a blowout win. It’s been two days of trading feast or famine for two of the more inept offenses in the American League.
So surely we get back to normal today, right? A perfect regression to the mean to cap off the week?
Let’s take a last look at the Astros and Mariners for today free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Seattle Mariners +125 at Houston Astros -135 (TOTAL: 8)
Roenis Elias (3-3, 2.79 ERA) vs. Lance McCullers (2-1, 2.32 ERA)
In addition to a pair of teams hitting in the low .230’s, we also get a pair of starting pitchers who have been dealing this season. Both Ellias and McCullers enter with ERA’s in the twos and WHIPs of 1.24 and 0.90 respectively. Granted, McCullers has a smaller sample size with only five outings, but those five outings have been fantastic.
The point is simply, it’s hard to look at any of the numbers aside from the randomness of baseball flexing its randomness so far in this series and come to any conclusion OTHER than there shouldn’t be a lot of runs this afternoon.
The Astros have lost eight of nine, and aside from the shelling of Felix, have scored more than two runs in a game… ONCE (still perplexed by that loss… sigh). Their lack of offense has finally caught up with them and the AL West is becoming a tight race (and one I don’t think they can hold on in, for the record). Today they are facing a starting pitcher who has been good all season, so I expect Elias to be sharp.
Here’s a staggering statistic: in games started by these two pitchers they have recoeved 2.7 and 2.2 runs of support respectively. It’s amazing either has A win, let alone winning (or even) records. Both pitchers are good. Both offenses are not. I hate to be simplisticly reductive, but it feels that simple when looking at this game.
And my favorite stat of the year: The TOTAL has gone UNDER in EVERY SINGLE game in which Roenis Elias has pitched this season. EVERY GAME. I’m going with the trends and overwhelming data – and if either team hangs eight runs individually again I will curse the gambling gods with frequency… but surely we don’t get a stat-defying anomaly twice in one weekend…