Kendall Graveman (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Josh James (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros will close out their four-game opening season series on Monday at Minute Maid Park. Following two straight convincing wins by the Houston Astros, 8-2 and 7-2, the Mariners responded with a 7-6 win on Sunday. The Astros’ bullpen coughed up 3 runs in the 8th inning.
Zack Greinke was out of sorts on the hill early, so the mood was set early. Greinke conceded 2 earned runs in the first inning and lasted just 3.1 innings. He exited the contest with 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs allowed. The Astros’ offense was strong once again, so that was the one positive of Sunday.
In all three of the Astros’ first three games they’ve been hot at the plate. Like I said, the Astros are likely going to be determined to hit well at the dish this season. After the cheating scandal, I’m sure they would love to show that they don’t need to bang a garbage can to do damage. So far, the Astros haven’t needed any help to hit the ball.
They’ve been seeing the ball well. The worst news of all on Sunday for the Astros wasn’t the loss, but the fact that Justin Verlander is dealing with a forearm strain. The original news out of the Houston media was that Verlander is done for the season. However, JV disputed that report on Twitter and said that’s not true.
The report that I’m currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate. There is a forearm strain… I’m hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I’ll be able to return soon. Thank you for all the well wishes. 🙏🏻
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) July 26, 2020
I highly doubt that Verlander would have publicly stated it’s untrue if it were in fact true. It’s possible that it is an injury that lingers throughout the rest of the season and the postseason, though. Even though they’re the Astros, a few injuries could change the dynamic of this season a lot. There’s no guarantee a trip to the postseason is in their future, or any other team in the majors for that matter.
There will likely be one or two teams that no one saw doing anything reach the playoffs in this shortened season, especially with an expanded postseason. Josh James gets the call for the Astros at home, while former Oakland Athletic, Kendall Graveman, is expected to get the start for the Mariners. Head below for our free Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros pick for July 27, 2020 in MLB.
Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros Prediction:
The Astros want to see more out of Josh James in his sophomore campaign. He’s gotten little work as a starter in his career, with 55 appearances out of the bullpen the last two years. James appeared in just six games in 2018 and he was serviceable with a 2.35 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. All he did was dip his toes in his first action as a major leaguer.
James received more work last season. He pitched in 49 games, 48 of which were out of the bullpen as a reliever. James could have been better in that role. He recorded an ERA of 4.70 and 1.32 WHIP in his first full season in the majors.While that wasn’t a pretty season for James, the Astros are high on him and feel that he’s going to turn the corner soon.
James has been steady in exhibition games in the spring and summer. Across 8.2 innings, he conceded 3 earned runs for a 3.12 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. James was able to hold his opponents to a .167 batting average. His effort against the Mariners in his career has been strong.
James has held the Mariners to a .226 batting average and 1-run in 22 at-bats. Kyle Seager is the only Mariner to do damage against James. He connected on a long ball for one of four hits for the Mariners versus James in his young major league career.
Kendall Graveman will throw a pitch in a regular season game for the first time since 2018 with the Athletics. Graveman is looking for his first season with an ERA below 4.00. In three seasons with at least 19 outings, Graveman posted ERA’s of 4.05, 4.11, and 4.19.
He notched an ERA of 7.60 and 1.66 WHIP in seven games before having to sit down for Tommy John surgery. Graveman has actually been fairly effective against this Houston lineup, as he’s held them to a .228 batting average and .290 OBP.
However, I’m not too confident about Graveman coming back from Tommy John on the road versus the red-hot Houston bats. He was bad on the road before getting injured, with an ERA of 4.80 in 2016, 6.39 in 2017, and 6.52 in 2018 before going down.
He will have to deal with a ‘Stros offense that has scored 7.5 runs per game against Seattle pitching in this series. Following a careless performance on Sunday, expect the Astros to bounce back in fine form in the series finale at Minute Maid Park.