The Houston Astros attempt to get their season going on the right track tonight behind Doug Fister. It was another loss for the Astros last night, a 6-3 loss to the Mariners. The loss brought the Astros to a record of 10-19. 19-10 was probably how many people saw the season opening up in Houston. That obviously didn’t come to fruition, and the Astros will have to pull out of an early season hole. The good thing about baseball is that there is a lot of time to make it up. Nevertheless, fans are quick to react and the jury may already be out on the Astros. In any case, they don’t look like a World Series’ favorite at the moment. More like a dud. Keuchel and company have been getting ravished on the mound, with no evidence of his Cy Young talent present. The signing of Doug Fister in the offseason was viewed as a big stepping stone to getting to the World Series. However, he hasn’t been the most helpful of pitchers either.
All it takes is one good run to turn the tide and opinion of the public, though. The Astros have been unable to catch that train. The most games they have won in a row was two, which just came against the Twins, but it didn’t translate to anything against the Mariners last night. With that, the Astros have only won two games in a row once. The train is still there, but the Astros haven’t jumped on it, yet anyway. Meanwhile, the Mariners are trying to live up to expectations after they fell flat on their faces last year. With the postseason in their sights a year ago, before the season even began, nothing of substance came. But the Mariners have looked better in the early goings of 2016. After the win last night, the Mariners have pulled to 17-11 on the season. The ever so hot Taijuan Walker gets a chance to make it 18 wins for the Mariners tonight.
Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros
Taijuan Walker (2-1, 1.80 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (2-3, 4.60 ERA)
The Mariners and Astros tonight provide a snapshot of the Mariners’ past, present, and future. Doug Fister took flight in Seattle and looked brilliant at times. The Tigers saw something in him and their suspicions paid off, as he pitched for a 1.79 ERA in 2011 as a rental for half of the season and postseason. He went back to Seattle, but found himself back in Detroit for another stint with the Tigers for two seasons. Fister will have a chance to show his former team up tonight. This season, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for him. He’s posted a 4.60 ERA and 1.43 WHIP but has looked better in his last three starts with a 2.89 ERA. A 1.39 WHIP and .325 OBA doesn’t impress me, though.
Taijuan has come on strong for the Mariners this season, and appears to be in for a coming out party in 2016. Walker, Felix, and Iwakuma do make for a powerful punch on the mound. It would be some kind of failure, again, if the Mariners fail to reach the postseason. Walker has done his part thus far, pitching for a 1.80 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs per game in any of his five starts. On the road Walker threw a 0.00 ERA and 0.50 WHIP. There are always one or two unknowns who come out and pitch out of their minds. Taijuan Walker is looking like the breakout pitcher of 2016. Let’s see if he can keep it going against the Astors tonight. I see some great value on him. After the secret it out about him, you’re not going to find this small price on him very often. I’m going to ride with the Mariners.
PICK: MARINERS TO WIN -105